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MOH Issues Warning to Eateries Selling Alcohol, Cites Gross Misconduct

[PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The Ministry of Health has expressed concern over the misconduct of Restaurants in Nairobi.

The Director of Public Health, Dr. Francis Kuria said it was disheartening that many Restaurant owners were defying the MoH protocols and had turned their premises into full blown operating bars.

In President Uhuru’s last state address issued on July 6th, he said eateries should only reopen partially and operate as takeaways not host clients in the premises.

“You have asked for closure by yourselves and don’t blame anyone. The decision that will be announced on Monday after the summit will be as a result of gross misconduct by these restaurants,” Kuria said.

The President in his address, had said that Restaurants fulfilling all protocol with the highest levels of health regulations would be allowed to open.

“One immediate step from the work done so far is that we will allow a few restaurants and eateries that show the highest levels of health regulation compliance, and the ability to arrange for employee testing, to undertake minimal operations while maintaining measures that mitigate against the spread of the corona virus,” he said.

The President did warn that if there were any issues raised by the public authorities regarding misconduct by the establishments would lead to instant closure.

“We will reopen this economy but it must be in a way that does not endanger thousands of lives. Some countries had initially succeeded in suppressing the pandemic, only for them to open up without a proper process and suffer a huge spike in infections,” the President said.

According to the Pubs Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya (Perak), at least 20,000 joints are still shut countrywide with 5,000 in Nairobi and 4,000 in Mombasa.

This has put at least 300,000 jobs on the line with at least 2 million dependents directly affected.

Kuria said that it had been noted that several bars were operating illegally and security officials had been instructed to crack down on them.

He reiterated that the reopening measures spelt out by the President only targeted eateries and it was still a puzzle how bars are also operating without obtaining clearance certificates.

“These bars are operating illegally. Take note that if your bar is closed and permit withdrawn don’t blame anyone,” Kuria noted.

He said that the police, despite their numbers, would endeavor to catch all those breaking the law.

“Fellow Kenyans be reminded that if there is a time to be careful, it is now.  The behaviour in those bars is disheartening, masks thrown off with no hand washing,” Kuria said.

He said the only way bars can operate is to sell takeaway.

CS Mutahi Kagwe had earlier warned that the reopening of eateries was not a permit for bars to sell alcohol.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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