Bars in Kenya will only open to operate during the festive season if bar owners fully adopt the new guidelines that the government has issued to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
According to the statement, the Pubs Entertainment and Restaurants’ Association, Bar Hotels Liquor Traders Association of Kenya, and the Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya were involved in the drafting of the regulations.
The new guidelines announced by the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development have declared dance floors closed during the festive season.
Ministry of Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said any physical activity that facilitates physical contact between partakers in an alcohol selling establishment has been banned.
Bars are also required to have counters shielded with a Perspex glass to separate the clients and sellers in order to minimize chances of infection.
Customers are also not allowed to sit around the counter. Every bar must have a spacious waiting lounge for its clients and designated sections for couriers.
Signage displaying the maximum seating capacity is also mandatory with all forms of possible physical contact between revelers and sellers discouraged.
The new regulations have also tasked the Bar and Alcohol Trade Associations to form a “Bar Kumi” initiative to monitor the operations of the alcoholic business within defined jurisdictions.
Bars owners must also identify a Covid-19 “point of contact” which will be responsible for monitoring and ensuring protocols are observed in every shift.
Bars must maintain a 1.5-meter social distance, proper hygiene, and the wearing of masks. Every establishment will also set aside a suitable COVID-19 emergency room for any suspected staff case.
Cabinet secretary Maina said in the near future, all alcoholic drink retailers will register with an alcohol trade or membership association registered and recognized by the government.
The CS added that the associations will also ensure that the establishments are well ventilated and follow the protocols set out by the Ministry of Health to combat the spread of the COVID_19 Virus.
Main also said that governments, media, businesses, and the public should redouble their efforts to promote safety precautions because there will be a natural tendency towards complacency.