15-10-2021 by redazione
Following requests from the Kenyan Tourism Minister, Najib Balala, and hospitality and public transport trade associations, regarding the removal of the curfew in the country and consequently the reopening of activities and business at night, negotiations have begun with the government, in this case represented by the Ministry of the Interior and National Security and the Ministry of Health.
The deadline, or rather the date set for a possible reopening, is November 4.
However, it is not certain that the Government will fully meet the requests of hoteliers, shopkeepers and the transport sector, so some sectors that are suffering more than others, such as nightclubs (pubs and discos) and alcohol producers, are already trying to obtain at least a postponement.
The hypothesis taken into consideration at the moment is that of making all the closures slip by two hours: 21 hours then for the only places that serve drinks, bars, disco-bars and pubs, and 23 hours for restaurants.
That would mean automatically move the beginning of the curfew from the current 22 to midnight, subject to reopening at 4 am.
This is the request made through a petition by the association of alcohol producers, who cite as factual data to support their hypothesis the decline in the rate of positivity of Covid-19, from a week below 5%, and the gradual increase in the percentage of vaccinated complete.
The leaders of the Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya (ABAK) explain in their request that allowing premises to operate two extra hours would provide employment opportunities for thousands of people that businesses have had to leave at home or who have been forced to cut part of their salaries because of the halved hours and would help the entire sector to recover from the deficit suffered in the last year and a half of restrictions. Considering also that many premises used to open at 5 pm and have been closed since March 2020 precisely because they do not consider it sustainable to work only two hours a day.
"Not only that - explains the president of ABAK, Eric Githua - increasing the distribution of legal and authorized alcohol would help keep potential customers away from illegal and dangerous liquor, whose consumption has grown exponentially during the pandemic."
Some members of the government's task force on Covid-19 also reportedly supported the request, citing the recovery of the economy as a safety factor in preventing the rise of petty crime and other illegal practices.
The alcoholic beverage industry collectively contributes more than $130 billion annually in taxes, in addition to the thousands of Kenyans who are employed both directly and indirectly by the industry.
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