Nairobi News


Only restaurants, not hotels, allowed to reopen

The government has clarified that only restaurants and not hotels in the country have been allowed to reopen.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said that restaurants will only be opened after following the laid down requirements.


Balala also announced a subsidised cost for restaurant and bar operators to have their employees tested for Covid-19 from the initial Sh4,000 down to Sh1,000.

“The government has subsidised to remove the cost on the business and there will also be no charges for the compliance permit or for inspection but the establishments have to follow the set protocols,” he said.

According to Balala, the protocols for hoteliers and other players in the hospitality industry will be released next week and it is the responsibility of every restaurant to access the protocols set by the Ministry of Health.

“After meeting all requirements laid out, Inspection and Certification by the County Health Officers, will be free and within 24hours,” he added.

He said that it is the responsibility of every restaurant to follow the protocols which are not revised.

Everything will be free when they present compliance certificates.


He said the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers and its affiliate the Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya (PERAK) have agreed to have every establishment given access to the outlined protocols.

“Every establishment will establish its SOP based on the protocols and staff must adhere to the protocols,” he added.

Last month, in a move that signalled the gradual return to normal life, the government ordered the reopening of restaurants in public places but under specific strict conditions.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe also allowed the sale of alcohol alongside meals in restaurants, although no buffets will be served.

But Kagwe maintained that an earlier order for the closure of bars and entertainment joints will remain in force.

The National Emergency Response approved the reopening of restaurants between 5am to 4pm daily with diners maintaining a distance of four (each) per 10 square metres.

Alcohol will only be served with a meal or at most 30 minutes after serving a meal. There shall be no self-service or buffets.