CS Kagwe Unveils Stringent Rules as Some Hotels Get Green-light to Re-open

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe launches the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Diagnostic and Reporting Centre, Nairobi in February 2020 as Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi (behind) watches

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe launches the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Diagnostic and Reporting Centre, Nairobi in February 2020 as Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi (behind) watches.

Kenyans sighed with relief as Health Cabinet Secretary announced that some select hotels across the country would resume operations.

He revealed, during a meeting at Afya House on Monday, April 27, that the decision to reopen some eateries was arrived at by the National Emergency Response Committee after a directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He, however, clarified that the select restaurants would have to adhere to some 12 strict rules to ensure that the deadly Covid-19 virus is not spread.

The owners of the restaurants would be required to test their employees for the virus and ensure that all their customer’s temperatures are taken. Any staff member or patron with a temperature above 37.5 degrees shall not be allowed entry into the premises, and the establishment shall immediately notify the Ministry of Health.

A well set table in a restaurant in Nairobi.
A well set table in a restaurant in Nairobi.

The Ministry also noted that the restaurants should only operate between 05.00 a.m. and 04.00 p.m and that the number of diners or customers should be limited to 4 people for every 10 square metres space.

The sitting arrangement should also be sufficient in that a person should be away from another, both from the front and back, for a distance of at least one meter.

Alcohol and buffets were also not allowed. A person could only order alcohol while waiting, eating or 30 mins after completing a meal in a restaurant. Buffets, on the other hand, were prohibited unless they are served by one tested person.

Customers were also to have their meals delivered individually to the dining table by the appointed restaurant stewards.

The other rules included service of quality and safety food and thorough rinsing and sanitizing of food contact surfaces, disinfect surfaces, floors as well as counters.

All hotels are also required to install adequate portable running water and accessible washing basins for handwashing purposes and the inclusion of alcohol based-hand sanitizers at the entrance and exit points.

The restaurants are also required to have a thermometer as well as maintain a social distance of between one and three meters when preparing meals.

363 people have already tested positive for the virus that has claimed 14 lives.

A health officer screening visitors at Nakuru County's health offices on February 19, 2020.
A health officer screening visitors at Nakuru County’s health offices on February 19, 2020.
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