FAIL HEALTH STANDARDS

All hotels, eateries in Uasin Gishu closed as unhygienic

Owners protest, say Covid-19 safety measures too numerous and too costly.

In Summary

• County public health department has serviced notices to most hotels and restaurants,  ordering them to close and comply with hygiene and spacing measures to control the virus.

* Most hotels and restaurants in Eldoret had resumed operations but are yet to comply with health requirements for reopening.

 

Chairman of the Hotel Owners Association in Eldoret Kevin Okwara.
UNHAPPY OWNERS: Chairman of the Hotel Owners Association in Eldoret Kevin Okwara.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has ordered all hotels and eateries in Eldoret and elsewhere to close until they comply with all 15 anti-Covid-19 safety standards.

The county public health department has served closure notices to most hotels and restaurants, ordering them to shut down and comply with strict measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

The county has issued more than 30 guidelines that must be complied with before establishments can reopen.

 

Hotel owners in the county led by Kevin Okwara have protested against the closures and termed the requirements excessive, punitive and discriminatory.

Fifteen costly conditions

Chairman of the hotel owners associat, Kevin Okw, said the hospitality industry is on the brink of collapse. He said thousands of jobs are at stake, yet government measures that won't revive it.

“You are required to immediately cease operations until all requirements of the protocol for the management of restaurants and eateries during the pandemic have been met," read the notice to the owners of all hotels and restaurants.

Hotel owners in Eldoret criticised the county for what they called unfair conditions for reopening establishments shut down to stop the spread of the virus.

Chairman of the hotel owners association, Kevin Okwara, said the hospitality industry is on the brink of collapse.  He said thousands of jobs are at stake, yet the government is enforcing measures that won't revive it.

Okwara said owners cannot afford frequent testing of hotel and other workers. Hotels should be allowed to operate like other sectors while observing minimum conditions, such as wearing masks and handwashing, he said.

“We have been asked to comply with so many costly conditions yet at the moment we are not making any money to pay for them," Okwara said.

He said it was ironic the government was shutting down hotel accommodations while at the same time allowing some Kenyans to operate as essential service providers.

"Where will the same people offering essential services spend the night if hotels are not being allowed to open?" Okwara asked.

Most hotels and restaurants in Eldoret had resumed operations but almost all failed to comply with conditions for reopening.

Few are using thermal guns to test customers'  temperatures and some are not observing social distancing in restaurants.

People are also returning to Eldoret, gathering in crowds and disregarding social distancing.

Uasin Gishu county commissioner Abdrisack Jaldesa warned residents that Covid-19 was still spreading in the country, the situation was not back to normal and safety measures must be observed.

(Edited by V. Graham)