Bon Appétit: Kenya to Reopen Restaurants but Bars to Remain Closed

Fast food restaurants are expected to recover faster from the coronavirus pandemic

A meal at a food outlet Photo _ Davies Kinanga

The Kenya government on Monday announced it will ease some of its coronavirus measures, including the reopening of restaurants, but other rules will remain in place.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe however, emphasized that strict rules on physical distancing will still need to be adhered to.

“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.”

“Reopening of restaurants does not mean bars are opened as well, they remain closed. You can order your alcohol with your meal at a restaurant but bars remain closed,” CS Kagwe said.

Guidelines for reopening restaurants

  • All restaurants shall only operate between 5 am and 4 pm
  • Restaurants must limit the number of diners to four people for every 10 square metres space
  • 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.
  • Tables in the dining areas must be spaced 1.5 metres apart in the dining area or seat customers group at 1.5 metres apart
  • Customer to have their meals delivered individually to the dining table by appointed restaurant stewards
  • 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.
  • Temporary discontinue self-service of ready to eat foods such as salad bars or buffets

On Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the economy will be reopened gradually.

“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.

Other sectors that the Government classified as ‘critical and essential’ and have been exempted from the curfew include:

Medical professionals and Health Workers, National Security, Administration, and Co-ordination officer, Public Health and Sanitation Officers in the County Governments, Licensed pharmacies and Drug Stores, Licensed Broadcasters and Media Houses, Kenya Power & Lightening Company limited, Food Dealers, Distributors, Wholesalers & Transporters of Farm Produce, Licensed Supermarkets and Hypermarkets, licenses Distributors and Retailers of Petroleum and Oil Products and Lubricants, Licences Telecommunication operators and Service Providers, Licensed Banks, Financial Institutions and Payment Financial Service, Fire Brigade and other Emergency Response Services and Licensed Security firms.