• Hospitality spokeswoman for the North Coast Maureen Awuor said the staff working in tourism resorts have lost their jobs.
•Mustafa Hussein, the owner of Taheri restaurant in Malindi, said even though the Covid-19 protocols gave them up to 10pm, at least they did some good business during Idd.
More than half of the tourism resorts in Kilifi are still closed, battered economically by Covid-19.
Tourism players said most facilities were closed after Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kajiado and Machakos counties were placed under lockdown during the Easter holiday week.
Lockdown led to numerous cancellations at the Coast, a favoured holiday destination.
Restaurants in Malindi are open but still operate with fewer customers and shorter hours set by the government.
Some restaurant owners said business was booming during Idd celebrations as customers flocked their for dinner, but rushed home to meet the 10pm curfew.
Many owners said last year they couldn't do business because of the earlier curfew but now they can operate until 9.30pm.
Since they are observing all protocols, they want the government to extend curfew further.
North Coast hospitality chairwoman Maureen Awuor said more than 70 per cent of tourism staff have lost their jobs. She represents the Kenya Hotel Keepers and Caterers Association.
She said the few who are still working are being paid 50 per cent of their salary but most are jobless.
“The business cannot be as usual. When President Uhuru Kenyatta closed the counties and restricted movement, he never considered there were businesses collecting money," she said.
Awuor, who is also the Ocean Beach Resort and Spa general manager, said it ws in Easter week and travellers had already booked the hotels, paid the money and suddenly they could not travel.
She said the Easter holiday is normally long and some suppliers also closed business, forcing them to buy some products earlier in readiness for guests.
Awuor said they were stuck with perishable fish, chicken and vegetables because the country had been locked and people could not travel.
“When the President is taking that kind of decision, he should think about it because it's costing the business owners,” she said.
Awuor said it has also been difficult for parents to take the children to school because of job losses.
She said the government was imposing a lot of tax yet business was being interfered with. Businesses pay one percent tax now, together with 16 per cent VAT, seven per cent service charge, 30 per cent income tax, plus permi, and licence fees.
Mustafa Hussein, the owner of Taheri restaurant in Malindi, said even though the Covid-19 protocols gave them up to 10 pm, at least they did some good business during Idd.
He said last year at this time there was no business at all due to lockdown but now a good number of clients have been visiting his restaurant specialising in Indian cuisine and fast foods.
Malindi resident Mohamed Khatib Abdalla said the region used to be a major tourism hub but the situation has changed as hotels are empty.
He said the government needs to reduce curfew hours, starting at midnight so businesses can generate revenue.
Edited by Kiilu Damaris