Govt okays Restaurants to be reopened, allowed to sell alcohol as bars remain closed

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,27TH APRIL,2020-Restaurants have been allowed  open its doors to the public with the government  however instituting strict rules on physical distancing to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, addressing the press at Afya House on Monday, said the establishments are only allowed to open their doors between 5am and 4pm.

CS Kagwe however cautioned that the staff who will be working at these restaurants during the stipulated hours must first be tested for Covid-19.

“The restaurants will operate between 5am and 4pm, not later than that…because, after that, it becomes difficult for the people to get home for curfew,” he said.

“Those restaurants that are going to open must limit the number of persons who are going to be in the restaurant so that they can be able to keep social distances that we have recommended.”

The  CS says  restaurants must also limit the number of customers to 4 people for every 10 square metres, and the tables spaced at least 1.5 metres apart.

“Maintain distance from the back of one chair to the other chair not less than a metre and guests must face each other from a distance of at least one metre. Customers to have their meals delivered individually to the dining table by appointed restaurant stewards,” he said.

He further stated that those going into the restaurants must first wash their hands, sanitize and be wearing face masks; adding that the restaurants must however not offer buffet or self-service.

“Restaurants to ensure quality and safety of food, to rinse and sanitize food contact surfaces, disinfect surfaces, floors and counters. Install adequate portable running water and accessible washing basins for hand washing purposes, install alcohol based hand sanitizers at the entrance and exit points,” added CS Kagwe.

“Restaurants and eateries must install a contact free thermometer and ensure that every person entering the premises has his/her body temperature taken. Any staff member or reveler with temperature above 37.5 degrees shall not be allowed entry into the premises, and the premises shall immediately notify the Ministry of Health.”

CS Kagwe also allowed the restaurants to sell alcohol to customers partaking of their meals normally, adding that bars will however remain closed.

“We have also said that this is not a license to start opening bars. Alcohol shall only be sold with a meal in the restaurant and only be served to customers waiting to be served a meal, during the meal, or 30 minutes after the meal has ended…we have not opened bars,” he stated.

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