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Will Your Favourite Pub Be Shamed For Flouting Regulations?

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Will Your Favourite Pub Be Shamed For Flouting Regulations? Photo Courtesy

Will Your Favourite Pub Be Shamed For Flouting Regulations?

Your favourite pub or restaurants risks having its operating license suspended for a year, listed, and shamed if found flouting the Covid-19 safety protocols.

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala says this is part of the revised Magical Kenya Tourism and Travel Health and Safety Protocols for the ‘New Normal’ geared at keeping the hospitality industry operational during these Covid-19 times.

Will Your Favourite Pub Be Shamed For Flouting Regulations? Photo Courtesy

Speaking during the protocol launch, the CS said “With the majority of people embracing the Covid-19 vaccines worldwide, we deem it important to issue a comprehensive Covid-19 vaccination policy and procedures for both guests and staff at all levels of establishments’ operations. That’s why today we are launching the reviewed protocols that were first issued in July 2020.”

The CS also added that countries with the highest numbers of individuals that are vaccinated against Covid-19 will be the ones receiving the highest numbers of tourists as people will find the destinations to be safe and healthy.

In the first six months of this year, Kenya received only three hundred thousand tourists through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

“Hospitality workers can also be considered to be frontline workers as they engage with visitors on a personal level. That is why we are urging our hospitality stakeholders to get vaccinated whenever they get the chance. On our part, we shall be liaising with CECs of Tourism and Health at County levels so that the stakeholders can be vaccinated,” added Balala.

The CS also advocated for self-regulating since there has been a lot of confusion when it comes to hospitality establishments. Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) has been assigned the task of being the lead, while working closely with other multi-agencies that are in the hospitality industry.

Under the new protocols, the spotlight is on bars, eateries and restaurants that now face the risk of having their operating licenses suspended for a year.

The protocols also require hospitality industry players with verifying that all visitors at their premises have a negative PCR test upon arrival as well as during departure irrespective of their vaccination status. With the revised protocols all eyes are on the industry players if indeed they can self regulate as required.

CS Balala holds the Magical Kenya Tourism and Travel Health and Safety Protocols for the ‘New Normal, next to him is the CEO Kenya Association of Hotel keepers & Caterers, Mike Macharia. Photo Courtesy

“We are aware that most regulated establishments have put in place measures to comply with Covid-19 protocols, and we commend them for that. However, there is a general laxity in full compliance especially when it comes to social distancing. Also, there are those that are not following or are trying to circumvent the laid down protocols. We want to tell them their days are numbered and that the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them,” noted Balala.

At the same time, he clarified that the nationwide curfew is from 10pm to 4am, and the hospitality industry should stop serving people at 9pm.

Felicity Gitonga

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