There shall be no sale of alcohol in restaurants and eateries for the next 30 days, effective midnight today, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
Uhuru on Monday said all bars will be closed indefinitely, adding that those that don’t adhere will have their licences permanently withdrawn.
“Licenses of bars will be withdrawn permanently if found operating,” Uhuru said.
“All the measures that I will be announcing shall be applied to all citizens regardless of their social standing,” he said.
Uhuru spoke at State House.
The President also announced eateries will only operate until 7pm, down from 8pm.
“The surge in infections has continued and in some areas, notably Nairobi, it has accelerated sharply,” he said.
“Our concern is the surge of infections among young Kenyans affecting their elders.”
Uhuru said that it is the low rate of fatality that is giving Kenyans false comfort that the pandemic is not serious.
“Those are the people who have interpreted the de-escalation of the measures we took to take as a green-light to pay no heed to authorities,” he said.
“Their reckless actions endanger them and those around them.”
The President said citizens should hold each other accountable.
“If someone enters your shop, and you own the business, if he has no mask, insist that they wear one,” he said.
“We are living in abnormal times. Let us not think that we are special. Please, let us not follow examples we have seen across the world.”
Uhuru said no person is special, adding that everyone can get the disease.
“We need to be realistic. None of us wants to mourn who would have survived if not for our actions,” he said.
“The power is in your hands. We are the ones who have the power to save.”
The governors had previously called for a lockdown to arrest the rise in infections, but changed their stand.
Health experts had said it was upon the county chiefs to manage cases as they arise.
County bosses have thus concluded there would be no need to restrict the movement of people, especially into and out of Nairobi.
Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya told the Star they want Nairobi left open “as it is the hub of Kenya’s economic activities.”
The pandemic has claimed more than 250 lives in the country since its outbreak on March 13, 2020.
Forty-four out of the 47 counties have reported Covid-19 cases. Only Baringo, West Pokot and Samburu have not confirmed any cases.
Last month, the President lifted the cessation of movement in Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa and Mandera counties from June 7, 2020.
However, the President extended the nationwide curfew currently in place between 9 pm and 4 am by another 30 days.
Uhuru who gave the order to re-open conditionally, said that should the situation deteriorate and pose a challenge the health infrastructure, it shall be ‘clawed back’.