NEW RESTAURANT RULES

Temperature check, 30-minute beers as restaurants reopen

Restaurant owners to ensure all those entering premises has their temperature taken.

In Summary

• The President announced the move to open restaurants as one of the ways to revive the economy progressively.

• In the new rules, restaurants will only be allowed to operate between 5 am and 4 pm.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during the Covid-19 presser at Afya House on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe during the Covid-19 presser at Afya House on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Alcohol can only be sold in a restaurant when ordered with a meal. This is part of the new regulations restaurants have been given as the state slowly eases restrictions on business operations.

In addition, the alcohol can only to be served to customers waiting for an order, during the meal, or 30 minutes after the meal ended.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe on Monday released a raft of measures to be followed by restaurants after President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday announced a planned easing of restrictions for eateries.

 

The President announced the move as one of the ways to revive the economy progressively.

"We will reopen this economy but it must be in a way that does not endanger thousands of lives. Some countries had initially succeeded in suppressing the pandemic, only for them to open up without a proper process and suffer a huge spike in infections," the President said.

The Head of State, however, said he would not hesitate to close restaurants which flout government directives to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In the new rules, restaurants will only be allowed to operate between 5 am and 4 pm.

Last month, Kagwe ordered the closure of bars and instructed that restaurants should only do takeouts and deliveries.

This negatively impacted hotels and restaurants, with many opting to suspend operations altogether.

The government has now permitted restaurants to reopen, provided they limit the number of customers to four people per 10 square metres space.

Restaurant owners must also install a contact-free thermometer and ensure that every person entering the premises has his or her temperature taken.
 
 

Tables in the dining areas must be spaced 1.5 metres apart in the dining area or seat customer groups at least 1.5 metres apart.

 

"Maintain distance from the back of one chair to the other chair not less than a metre and guests must face each other from a distance of at least one metre," Kagwe said in a statement on Monday.

Self-service has been banned in all restaurants due to the fear of accelerated infections. 

"Temporary discontinue self-service of ready to eat foods such as salad bars or buffets. Customers to have their meals delivered individually to the dining table by appointed restaurant stewards," he said.

If buffet meals are served in a restaurant, the service shall be by only one person appointed by the restaurant.

Additionally, restaurants have to ensure the quality and safety of food, to rinse and sanitize food contact surfaces, disinfect surfaces, floors and counters

In addition to the contact-free thermometers, all hoteliers have to install adequate portable running water and accessible washing basins, in addition, to installing alcohol-based hand sanitizer at the entrance and exit points.

"Any staff member or reveler with a temperature above 37.5 degrees shall not be allowed entry into the premises, and the premises shall immediately notify the Ministry of Health for guidance," Kagwe said.