Inauguration of the National Advisory Committee

Government allows restaurants to open as it contains coronavirus 

Nairobi, Monday April 27, 2020 – The National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) on Coronavirus has approved guidelines for partial reopening of eateries and restaurants.

The announcement made by the Committee Chair and Cabinet Secretary for Health Mutahi Kagwe said that all restaurants shall only operate between 05.00 a.m. and 04.00 p.m. and must limit the number of diners or customers to four people for every 10 square metres space and the tables in the dining area must be spaced 1.5 metres apart.

“Maintaining distance from the back of one chair to the other chair should not be less than a metre and guests must face each other from a distance of at least one metre,” the CS said.

Kagwe also announced that alcohol shall only be sold with a meal in the restaurant and should only be served to customers waiting to be served a meal, during the meal, or 30 minutes after the meal has ended.

“This is not a licence to start opening bars and alcohol sale across the country. Anybody walking into a restaurant should walk in with a mask, sanitize their hands and if your staff have not been tested you cannot open a restaurant,” he stated.

The guidelines now allows  restaurants to temporarily discontinue self-service of ready-to-eat foods such as salad bars or buffets and customers can now have their meals delivered individually to the dining table by appointed restaurant stewards.

“If buffet meals are served the service shall be by only one person appointed by the restaurant.,” the CS said adding that the restaurants must ensure quality and safety of food,  rinse and sanitize food contact surfaces, disinfect surfaces, floors and counters.

All restaurants have also been asked to install adequate portable running water and accessible washing basins for hand washing purposes and install alcohol based-hand sanitizers at the entrance and exit points.

“Restaurants and eateries will also have to install a contact free thermometer and ensure that every person entering the premises has his/her body temperature taken,” he said adding that any staff member or reveler with temperature above 37.5 degrees shall not be allowed entry into the premises, and the premises shall immediately notify the   Ministry of Health through the toll free no 719 for guidance.

He also noted that food preparation area must also ensure physical distancing of 1 metre – 3 feet

The CS announced that the country continues to register tremendous progress in terms of recoveries. In the last 24 hours, an additional eight COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital, bringing to total number of recoveries to 114, he said.

“In this same period, however, we have confirmed 8 new cases of coronavirus in the country bringing to total 363. Four of these are from Mombasa and three from Nairobi, and one from Kwale,” he said.

All the eight , the CS  confirmed are  Kenyans, five  were picked by the Ministry surveillance team, while three are from the mandatory quarantine facilities all aged between 13 and 65 years.

Kagwe added that the two Nairobi cases are from Kibra and the quarantine facility at Kenyatta University. The Kwale case is from Tangä at Lunga Lunga border while the four are from Mombasa in Mvita.