NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27-Restaurants and eateries will no longer be allowed to sell any alcoholic beverages to sit in customers effective July 28 for the next 30 days.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in his address to the nation ordered the facilities to also not operate past 7 pm.
“There shall be no sale of alcohol in eateries and restaurants in Kenya, effective midnight today for the next 30 days, the closing time for restaurants and eateries has also been amended from 8 pm-7 pm,” said Kenyatta.
According to the president, the additional containment measures are part of government’s effort in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease, which has infected 17, 833 people countrywide, including 285 fatalities.
“The recent surge in infections indicates that our socializing without regard to protective behaviour in environment serving alcohol is becoming one of the greatest risk factors in our country,” he added.
The President’s announcement comes at a time when the Pubs Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya has opposed the ban.
Last week, the Association’s Chairperson Alice Opee said the proposed law will also affect eateries who spent thousands of shillings to operate.
“By end of June we had lost almost Sh15 billion and after reopening an average outlet invested from Sh200,0000 to Sh500,000, some of them have gone as far as spending Sh 1 million,” said Opee.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had earlier warned that some individuals had violated the COVID-19 protocols where some resorted to open in the disguise of operating as restaurants.
The government had allowed the operators to reopen in May and only sale alcohol with a meal to sit in customers and also close their business by 7:30pm.
Other guidelines by the Ministry of Health to the sector included the limit of number of persons who are going to be in the restaurant to enforce the social distancing rule.
Restaurants were also required to ensure quality and safety of food, to rinse and sanitize food contact surfaces, disinfect surfaces, floors and counters, among others.