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Restaurant owners oppose draft rules banning alcohol sale to sit-in customers

Owners of eateries have criticised the government’s proposal to ban the consumption of alcohol in social joints and instead recommended proper enforcement of measures for Covid-19 prevention.

Pub entertainment and restaurants association [PERAK] national chairman Alice Opee said if the proposals  are approved, thousands of workers will be rendered jobless while businesses will collapse.

Opee said according to the proposal, the only place people can consume alcohol is inside their houses which is a contravention of the alcoholic drinks controls Act, which bans sale and consumption of alcohol in the presence of children.

Draft regulations

“We have noted with concern the draft regulations by the Ministry of Health in circulation. Sections of the draft proposal proposes to ban sale and consumption of alcohol to sit in customers in restaurants and eateries,” Opee said.

This is after the same outlets have gone through a “lengthy and expensive process” of obtaining documents that allowed them to do exactly that.”

Opee said the association members have stringently observed the health and economic protocols and the government should not use the ban as a collective punishment after some outlets disregarded the requirements.

She said Perak members have been following all the measures put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 including social distancing and use of personal protective equipment in their outlets as well as observing operating hours.

“Bars, discos and entertainment venues were not and are not allowed to be open. Few isolated cases of the breach of the laws have been highlighted in the media,” Opee said.

“This is a small percentage that can be recorded in any sector. They should not be used as collective punishment of the entire sector.”

Opee also faulted Kiambu governor James Nyoro for ordering the closure of restaurants and pubs selling alcohol and “purporting to ban the sale of alcohol” in the county.