Petaling Jaya folk can consume their food and beverage in their vehicles as long as they abide by the limit of two persons per vehicle for MCO 2.0, said police chief Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal in a radio interview with Kool FM. This follows news that food establishments have been serving customers ‘dine-in’ style within their own vehicles, complete with trays and cutlery.

There is no violation of currently enforced SOP this way as there is no specific rule against dining in a vehicle in his jurisdiction, whether in the manner of conventional takeaway packaging or the aforementioned method of serving diners, said Nik Ezanee, however the police will have to enforce any new ruling if they are announced by the national security council (MKN).

While eating in the car isn’t necessarily against the law at present, we don’t recommend that you do this, and instead limit movement where possible. We have seen reports of people getting fined for ‘loitering’ when sitting in their parked vehicle, so that situation could also apply here if the police decide that eating and drinking in one’s stationary vehicle is one more area to be enforced under that aspect.

Beyond the technicalities of MCO rules, dining in a vehicle presents other challenges as well. Most may not realise this, but the interior of a car is especially susceptible to harbouring germs, and the steering wheel is a particular hot spot. One could, theoretically, conduct a thorough clean of surfaces before and after, though a car’s cabin is far more cramped than a typical in-home living space, and therefore not practical.

Also, given our climate, occupants sitting stationary in a vehicle for extended durations will still want air-conditioning, which means the engine has to remain running, unless one has a fully electric vehicle. Even so, that is energy spent on ancillaries instead of being on the move.

Best to limit the consumption of food and beverage to one’s residences, then. So far, the PJ district appears to be doing well in keeping to regulations; according to the report, Petaling Jaya police chief Nik Ezanee also said that public compliance to the MCO in the district was at 99%.

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