New rules proposed for sale of alcoholic drinks

The Ministry of Trade has proposed a new set of operating guidelines for traders selling alcoholic drinks to tame the spread of COVID-19.

In the new rules, businesses will be expected to have a designated staff or team responsible for enforcing compliance to Health Ministry regulations.

“Owing to uncertainty about the COVID-19 disease, to thrive in the Next Normal, companies need to make fundamental changes in every line of business,” Trade CS Betty Maina said.

According to her, engaging employees at every level of the organization is key to change the odds in their favour and alter the way businesses operate.

She reiterated that the projections of the length of time the disease will be around behoves traders to work in different ways to be fruitful in the face of the pandemic.

Some of the rules for clubs include closing dance floors during the pandemic and keeping doors open wherever possible.

On Monday, players in the sector were holed up in a meeting to discuss the new regulations.

Some of them criticized the new rules saying they were not involved in the process.

Protocols from the 1st edition of the guidelines released in June 2020–such as social distancing–will remain in place, albeit enforced more.

Patrons and attendants will be required to observe a 1.5-meter physical distance as well as regularly wash their hands with soap and water.

Bars and restaurants selling alcohol will be required to disinfect all surfaces including tables and chairs on a regular basis to avoid contamination.

They will also be expected to display signage at the entrance of the establishment, indicating the maximum number of partakers allowed into the establishment at any given time.

“Discourage any physical activity that facilitates physical contact between partakers in an alcohol selling establishment,” the Trade CS said in a statement.

Other rules include shielding of counters with perspex glass to ensure the protection of the client and seller with no partakers allowed to sit around the bar counter while consuming any alcoholic drink.

The Trade Ministry is also encouraging cashless transactions such as mobile money transfers to reduce the handling of hard currency.