• Joho says restaurants, hotels, barbers' shops are free to reopen
• However, all businesses will have to apply, be vetted and certified before reopening.
Several lines of businesses in Mombasa have been allowed to reopen if they meet conditions set by the county.
The businesses include eateries, hotels, restaurants, guest houses, barber shops, salons and spas.
Indoor games and sports as well as sellers of second-hand clothing (mitumba) are also free to operate, according to the Mombasa County Covid-19 Emergency Response Committee on Wednesday.
The committee is co-chaired by Governor Hassan Joho and county commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo.
Joho said that businesses intending to reopen must apply, be vetted and certified before resuming operations.
The Wednesday announcement brought hope to traders and the county of economic recovery.
“The facilities that have been identified for reopening will have to strictly adhere to both national and county governments guidelines and regulations on Covid-19,” Joho said.
The Mombasa administration shut down businesses in March when first cases of Covid-19 were reported in the country.
The county chief said before reopening, all entities will be required to access application forms available on the county website and duly fill them.
“Upon application, the facilities will be inspected and vetted, certificates of compliance will then be issued for approval to reopen,” the governor said.
He said that continuous monitoring will then be undertaken by a multi-agency team led by the county department of Health.
The decision will be a big test on whether traders can comply with the regulations to ensure there's no spike in Covid-19 cases in a county with the second-highest infection rate.
As of Wednesday, Mombasa had 1,304 positive cases of Covid-19, behind Nairobi’s 2,428. The country's total is 5,206.
Mombasa has a Covid-19 infection rate of 107.9 per 100,000, compared to Nairobi’s 55.2, according to Health Chief Administrative Secretary Mercy Mwangangi.
Joho has been on the frontline advocating for a total lockdown of the country to combat Covid-19. It appears like he has relaxed his tough stance.
(edited by o. owino)