from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – ALCOHOL manufacturers have petitioned the government to lift restrictions on bars as Kenya’s COVID-19 positivity rate reduces and vaccination increases.
The Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya (ABAK) believes this would also keep customers away from the illicit variety, whose consumption has grown during the pandemic.
Manufacturers say allowing bars and restaurants to operate longer would create more employment opportunities and help businesses in the hard-hit sector recover.
“ABAK notes the COVID-19 positivity rate in the last week has been averaging below five per cent,” said Chairman Eric Githua.
“This is the recommended rate by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for consideration in adjusting public health and social measures in the context of COVID-19.”
ABAK has sent a petition to the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC).
Bars are now allowed to operate until 19h00.
They were previously allowed to operate until 23h00.
The alcoholic beverages industry collectively contributes more than KSh130 billion (US$1,172 billion) annually.
East Africa’s largest economy contracted last year for the first time since 1992, with only half of the key economic sectors marked by growth.
With hotels, bars and other entertainment spots shut, the hospitality sector has been among the worst hit.
Kenya has confirmed 251 483 cases of COVID-19, including 5 198 deaths.
This is the seventh most severe outbreak in Africa by caseload.
– CAJ News