•Balala has expressed confidence the ongoing vaccination programme will boost the confidence of international visitors, as the country targets full recovery by 2023.
•Tourism ministry to develop a post- Covid-19 pandemic mitigation strategy to speed up recovery of the sector.
Operations in the hospitality industry are back to normal, Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala has said, with the lifting of the nation-wide curfew by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
This means the 7pm closure time that had been in place for bars, restaurants and night clubs has ended.
“All hospitality facilities are back to normal with MOH (Ministry of Health) protocols,” Balala told the Star.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said; "They are free".
Balala however said protocols put in place by the health ministry to tame the spread of the Coronavirus must be observed.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, during the 58th Mashujaa Day celebrations at the Wang'uru Stadium in Kirinyaga county, announced the lifting of the nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew, effective immediately.
This, as the government moves to re-open the economy.
"I hereby order that the nationwide dusk to dawn curfew that has been in effect from March 27, 2020, be and is hereby vacated with immediate effect," Uhuru announced.
Last week, the Bar Hotels Liquor Traders Association (BAHLITA) had called for the lifting of the curfew to help revive the industry.
This, it said will translate to jobs and more revenue to the government.
According to government data collected in collaboration with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, travel and tourism was the most hit last year where about 3.1 million jobs were affected.
This includes hotel employees, pubs and restaurants, tour operators, airlines, travel agents and their related suppliers and support services, a time when international travel came to a near stop costing Kenya a loss of about Sh130.9 billion in potential tourism revenues.
CS Balala has expressed confidence the ongoing vaccination programme will boost the confidence of international visitors, as the country targets full recovery by 2023.
He said the ministry will develop a post- Covid-19 pandemic mitigation strategy to speed up recovery of the sector.
“To keep pace with the fast-changing needs of visitors and challenges faced by the tourism industry, the industry has to act swiftly and adjust its strategies for tourism development from time to time,''Balala said.