Nairobi News


Alcohol among essentials products for Kenyans during Covid-19 pandemic

Alcohol sales are skyrocketing in Kenya, and citizens have listed alcoholic beverages and tobacco among essential products during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With bars and restaurants closed, more and more people are drinking at home to try and ward off loneliness.

A notice published by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development has also identified other products that Kenyans termed as essential while at home.

In order to appropriately respond to the issues affecting the business sector during Covid-19 outbreak, a 24-hour Business Emergency Response Committee and a Technical Committee of analysts has been established.

“The Committee identified the manufacturers, producers and suppliers of the under listed as essential to the sustenance of lives and efforts must be taken to keep them operational throughout the crisis period,” read a notice from the ministry.

It said due to their significance, workers and providers of logistics to these sectors need protection and/or, special permits and transport in the event of a lockdown.

Other than alcoholic beverages also listed among the essential products are cereals, sugar, wheat products (bread, confectioneries and breakfast cereals), sugar confectioneries, dairy products, processed foods, meat and meat products.


Fish, edible oils, salt and cooking spices, fruits, vegetables, nuts, water, juices and non and/or carbonated drinks/diluting drinks, tea, coffee and tobacco are also included in the list.

Other products Kenyans think are essential include textiles and apparels like face masks, medical uniforms, medical equipment and essential supplies like oxygen, pharmaceuticals and medicament.

According to the ministry, support distributive networks for the listed essential products/services will include supermarkets, provision and convenience retail stores, chemists/pharmacists/crop or animal laboratories, open/built wholesale and retail markets for food, fruit and vegetables.

President Uhuru Kenyatta while announcing mitigative measures aimed at stopping the spread of the Covid-19 virus imposed a 7pm to 5am curfew.

The President said during this time no movement would be allowed except for those listed under essential services.