Restaurants to apply for fresh permits, test workers at own cost

By Murimi Mutiga On Wed, 29 Apr, 2020 08:51 | 2 mins read
restaurants reopen
A man walks past closed Java Express eatery on City Hall Way, Nairobi, on Tuesday. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

Hotels will now be required to apply for fresh permits that meet Covid-19 safety rules before they are allowed to reopen.

Speaking at Afya House on Tuesday, Acting Director of Public Health, Dr. Francis Kuria, said the eateries will undergo inspection to ensure they comply with government directives to combat coronavirus.

He directed restaurant proprietors to download permit application forms from the Ministry of Health website.

They should fill the form and submit to the County Public Health Officer.

“The requirements are to make sure all the gains we have made in containing this pandemic are not lost,” said Dr Kuria.

Restaurants will be expected to subject their staff to Covid-19 tests at their own cost before they are inspected for compliance on social distancing and hygiene measures.

This could prove very costly for small eateries, with a test going for Sh10,000.

Some health facilities such as Nairobi Hospital announced plan to start carrying out at least 900 coronavirus tests per day for Sh10,000 per person.

Once they meet these requirements, county public health officers will visit the facilities to ensure compliance.

The National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus yesterday warned hotel owners against opening their doors to the public before being issued with the compliance permit.

Owners are required to take their staff for coronavirus testing in government-accredited laboratories at their own cost and provide evidence of the same to the public health officer before inspection is done.

The facilities will also be required host four people for every 10 square metres and space their tables at least 1.5 metres apart.

Restaurants and eateries must install a contact-free thermometer and ensure every person entering the premises has body temperature checked.

According to Mohamed Jilani, a manager at Qaffee Point Restaurant in Mombasa, the cost of testing employees could make it difficult for the facilities to re-open.

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