Government Sets Strict Rules For Bar Owners As Festive Season Nears

KEY POINTS:

  • All bars to hire Covid-19 liaison officers to ensure that drinkers observe protocols.
  • The officers will restrict the number of revellers allowed into a premise based on the Health ministry guidelines.
  • Bars will also be required to close dance floors and reduce contact between staff and drinkers

Government has set tough rules requiring all bar owners to hire Covid-19 liaison officers to ensure that drinkers observe protocols.

The officers will restrict the number of revellers allowed into a bar based on the Health ministry guidelines and report any suspected case of Covid-19 infection among staff and drinkers under the regulations that are yet to be gazetted.

The liaison officers, who will be the link between the State and the establishments, will also ensure that bar workers observe a yet to be developed Covid-19 code of conduct in a raft of stiff regulations for bars.

Bars will also be required to close dance floors and reduce contact between staff and drinkers, designate spacious waiting and collection areas for couriers and customers as part of curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The establishments will also have to display signage to show that they have reached the maximum number of drinkers to meet the social distancing requirements.

Alcohol manufacturers and importers had early this month petitioned the State to publish guidelines on the consumption of beer in bars in the wake of a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths.

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“Every establishment shall appoint and adequately train a Covid-19 liaison officer. The liaison officer shall be the point of contact with the Ministry of Health, Sub-County Liquor Licensing Committee and other sector players keep abreast of the emerging health, safety, and hygiene information and preventative measures related to Covid-19,” the regulations read in part.

Bars will become the first businesses to have a liaison officer following concerns that reckless behaviour by drinkers would fuel the spread of the disease.

The regulations come at a time Kenya is witnessing a spike in daily Covid-19 infections, which coincided with the easing of restrictions from September that including the reopening of bars and learning institutions.

Kenya has confirmed more than 80,000 Covid-19 cases from 47,843 on October 23, reflecting average daily infections of 998 in the last 30 days after the easing of the restrictions.

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