NEW NORMAL

Revised curfew time will help revive businesses – Ngatia

The curfew will now start 9pm and end 4am

In Summary
  • Many businesses, especially in Nairobi, shut down in March after the government ordered strict measures to contain spread of Covid-19.
  • Chamber says it shall ensure that employers and business owners provide protective gears for their workers.
Richard Ngatia, president of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Richard Ngatia, president of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

The decision to relax curfew hours will enable businesses to resume operations, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said.

The chamber’s president, Richard Ngatia, in a statement on Sunday said many businesses now have a chance to pick up and resuscitate the economy as well as help citizens earn a livelihood.

 

Many micro, small and medium enterprises, especially in Nairobi, shut down in March when the government ordered a 7pm-5am curfew among other strict measures to contain the spread of Covid-19

Most streets in the city were deserted as minimal activities took place.

The curfew meant that businesses had less operation hours as they had to release workers early to beat the 7pm deadline. So some opted to close.  

On Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced an extension of the nationwide curfew by another 30 days, but relaxed the hours from 7pm to 9pm and 5am to 4am. 

He also lifted the cessation of movement order against Eastleigh in Nairobi and Mombasa Old Town.

In the last three weeks, business has been slowly picking up in many parts of the city. Traffic has been building up in the morning and evening as people get in and out of the central business district.

“We take cognisance of the delicate situation as a country and still hold the view that safety remains a priority," Ngatia said.

"However, we also appreciate the fact that life has to go on, people to have an opportunity to have a daily meal, income and at the very least be facilitated to meet basic daily necessities.”

 

He said the chamber will work closely with government agencies to ensure no business premises, facility or establishment operates without being 100 per cent compliant.

 

“We shall ensure that employers and business owners provide protective gears for their workers, notably face masks and sanitiser, as well as ensure their customers are fully compliant with all the health guidelines, including social distancing,” Ngatia added.

He said it is the responsibility of every member of society to respect the Covid-19 control health guidelines.

 “It all boils down to individual responsibility in observing social distancing rules, sanitising, properly putting on face masks and regularly washing our hands with running water and soap,” Ngatia said.

This, he added, will help businesses continue operating with the economy remaining afloat even as the country battles coronavirus.