Kenya: Hotels to Sell Alcohol in Rooms Only

(file photo).

Hotels and restaurants have received a lifeline after the government eased the recent presidential directive on the sale of alcohol at their premises.

According to a letter signed by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, lodges, hotels and resorts have gotten the nod to sell alcohol to their clients in private.

He was responding to queries by establishment owners regarding the sale of alcohol considering they have started receiving visitors after the government relaxed Covid-19 measures.

However, alcohol still cannot be sold in public areas within hotels.

"The President's announcement on the issue of the sale of alcohol was clear that alcohol should not be sold to the public in hotels/restaurants to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. However after consultation with the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health, serving of alcohol can only be served in private and in their rooms and not in the public domain," reads the circular dated 4th August 4 addressed to Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers CEO Michael Macharia.

On August 3, Mr Macharia had written to the CS seeking clarification on the matter since most of hotels had included sale of alcohol in the their re-opening offer packages.

On July 27, President Uhuru Kenyatta banned the sale of alcoholic drinks in all restaurants across the country and directed that all bars remain closed indefinitely to slow down the rising rate of Covid-19 transmission.

He said the government had noted that people were socialising with zero regard to protective behaviour in environments selling alcohol.

The ban on sale of alcohol in restaurants and eateries was to remain in force for 30 days.

The announcement was a big blow to restaurants, hotels and bar owners who sayid they had complied with Ministry rules to resume operations.

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