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Restaurants Want 4 More Hours To Operate In Line With Extended Curfew

Palanca Cuisine. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Restaurants now want their working hours to be extended by four hours to 8pm.

The petition was made by the officials of the Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK) through a press briefing.

They claimed that since the dawn to dusk curfew had been extended to 9pm, Restaurants should also have their closing times extended to 8pm.

“We request to be allowed to operate up to at most 8pm, as our operators have their own arrangements for staff accommodation and transport, which means that curfew hours will be observed,” PERAK patron Patrick Muya said.

Eateries were given a reprieve last month to re-open gradually and allowed to operate until 4pm. On June 6 the President reviewed the curfew times from 7pm to 5am to 9pm to 4am.

In their briefing, the association asked the government to crack its whip on Establishments that had failed to adhere to the set Covid-19 guidelines “rather than take drastic measures that would indiscriminately impact a whole sector of the economy with dire economic straits.”

The officials urged the government to reconsider a plan to withdraw all liquor licences.

Read: Now That You Reopened Restaurants, Allow Churches to Reopen Too – Pastor Tells Gov’t

Addressing the briefing, Patrick Mbogo, Chairman of the Nairobi Chapter, said that the association had requested the government to take action against establishments found contravening the set rules, but were aware that there were suggestions from some quarters to withdraw all liquor licences from all establishments.

“As the country has worked to contain the spread of Covid-19, the sector has suffered the brunt of the necessary measures to limit the spread of the deadly virus. We have had to close and send our employees home, as we all followed directives by the government,” Mbogo said.

“Earlier this week, we wrote to the Ministry of Health asking for stern action on the establishments that fail to adhere to the guidelines. We took this action as such establishments are a stain on our business and are likely to not only discourage our patrons from coming back. They are also likely to make the Government roll back the measures taken to enable a return to economic activity”.

Mbogo pointed out that is the government shut down the sector, at least 1.8 million workers would be deprived of an opportunity to earn a livelihood, which has already been grossly affected by the slowdown in economic activity

The director of Public health, Dr. Patrick Amoth, said during the Covid-19 daily briefing that discussions on the operating hours were underway and would be reviewed upwards soon.

He hit out at eateries that open beyond the renewed Curfew times, “We will withdraw your licence, and make sure it is not renewed.” Dr. Amoth said.

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