Kenya allows hotels to reopen amid looming Coronavirus crisis

The government yesterday, through the Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe, allowed hotels to reopen their doors to the public.

The Health CS noted that people who are working during this period are struggling to find places to eat. Owners will only operate after testing their staff for COVID-19 before opening.

The closure was to flatten the curve of spreading Coronavirus in the country.

While opening at this time sounds outrightly ridiculous following the gradually increasing numbers of the cases, the CS has given restaurant owners stringent measures the owners should follow, for them to operate and still flatten the curve.

The measures include mandatory testing of body temperatures for customers entering the hotels. And only allow people with almost 37.5 degrees.

“Anybody walking into a restaurant must wash their hands first and be wearing a mask. The restaurants that are going to open will do so with people who have been tested and are Covid-19-free,” he said.

Further, adding that persons who have not been tested cannot operate eateries. Mr Kagwe said the owners of the restaurants ought to pay for the cost of testing their employees.

The Kenya Association of Hotel keepers and Caterers Chief Executive Officer Mike Macharia said that concerning other measures such as sanitation and cleanliness, the hotels are ready and have come up with ways to ensure they are above board.

“We’re also exploring options of keeping those we have tested at the hotels because the only way to stay negative is to ensure the employees do not go to the masses,” he added.

However, the association is still in talks with the ministry over the testing. As it proves to be expensive, especially for small to medium hotel service providers. The cost of a test in private hospitals ranges between Sh8,500 and Sh10,500.



Val Lukhanyu

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