State mulls controlling sale, consumption of alcohol to curb virus spread

In Summary

• Establishments that sell alcohol would operate between 9am and 7:30pm.

•In the regulations, a person would not be permitted to consume alcohol in public spaces.

Director of Public Health Dr. Francis Kuria at Afya House on June 8, 2020.
FILE; Director of Public Health Dr. Francis Kuria at Afya House on June 8, 2020.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

The government is considering controlling the sale and consumption of alcohol in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.

In a draft document seen by the Star on Tuesday, the government is considering banning the sale of alcohol in eateries.

The document states alcoholic drinks should not be sold to sit-in customers at restaurants, eateries, bars, food courts, entertainment joints, supermarkets, wines and spirits shops or any outlet.

 

Establishments that sell alcohol would operate between 9am and 7:30pm.

In the regulations, a person would not be permitted to consume alcohol in public spaces.

This include public parks, restaurants, parking lots, eateries, bar, entertainment joints, supermarkets or wines and spirits shop.

"A person who contravenes these shall on Conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh20,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months," the document reads.

Speaking during the daily briefing on Tuesday, Public Health director Dr Francis Kuria said the document is still a draft document.

" It aims at addressing the intake of alcohol. Once it becomes a legal document, we can discuss it. It is still with the AG," he said.

Last week, South Africa introduced new restrictions, including another ban on alcohol sales, to help contain the spread of coronavirus.

A night-time curfew was imposed, and the wearing of masks outdoors is now compulsory.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the alcohol ban - South Africa's second this year - would take pressure off the national healthcare system.