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All Bars and Clubs to Hire COVID-19 Bouncers

The Ministry of Health is set to gazette new regulations that will require all bars to hire Covid-19 liaison bouncers.

According Mutahi Kagwe led ministry, the covid-19 liason bouncers will ensure that drinkers observe protocols set by the State to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the clubs and bars.

Every establishment shall appoint and adequately train a Covid-19 liaison officer. The liaison officer shall be the point of contact with the Ministry of Health, Sub-County Liquor Licensing Committee and other sector players keep abreast of the emerging health, safety, and hygiene information and preventative measures related to Covid-19,” the regulations read in part.

Under regulations that are yet to be gazzetted, the Covid-19 bouncers will restrict the number of revellers allowed into a premise based on the Health ministry guidelines and report any suspected case of Covid-19 infection among staff and drinkers.

The Ministry of Health also states that the liason bouncers will ensure that bar workers observe a yet to be developed Covid-19 code of conduct.

In what is perceived as a raft of stiff regulations for bars, the establishments will be required to close dance floors and reduce contact between staff and drinkers, designate spacious waiting and collection areas for couriers and customers as part of curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

The establishments will also have to display signage to show that they have reached the maximum number of drinkers to meet the social distancing requirements.

Bars

A courtesy image of a Kenyan bar

Bars will become the first businesses to have a liaison officer following concerns that reckless behaviour by drinkers would fuel the spread of the disease.

Kenya shut down bars on March 25 after reporting the first coronavirus case occasioning an economic meltdown in the industry marked by thousands of job losses and permanent closure of some establishments.

In September, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced an ease of restrictions that included reopening of bars and clubs amongst other institutions that had been closed down indefinitely.

Bars committed to cut sitting capacity by half under social distance rules, have contact free-bill payment, restrict drinking at the counters as the industry turned to self-regulation.

East African Breweries Limited net profit dropped to a six-year low on the State closure of bars to contain Covid-19 spread highlighting the impact of the restrictions on the industry.

The brewer’s net profit dropped 39 per cent to Sh7 billion for the year ended June 2020 with net sales for the second half of the year plunging by 29 per cent.

Kenya is witnessing a spike in daily Covid-19 infections. MoH has confirmed more than 80,000 Covid-19 cases from 47,843 on October 23, reflecting average daily infections of 998 in the last 30 days after the easing of the restrictions.


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