40 arrested for violating COVID-19 protocols in Samburu
Forty people were arrested during a police crackdown on bars that were operating beyond stipulated time in Maralal town Samburu County on Saturday night.
Sub-county police commander in charge of Samburu Central Alex Rotich said the suspects were arrested at around 11.30pm.
He said the bars were supposed to have been closed until the next day, as per the law.
“Yesterday we carried out a raid in Maralal town at 11.30pm and some bars had not closed. People were still drinking alcohol and celebrating the President’s decision to end the curfew,” he said.
He also said the suspects did not observe social distance while drinking alcohol as directed by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The suspects who secured freedom on police cash bail and free bond will be arraigned before a Maralal court where they will be charged with failure to observe social distancing.
The bar owners face a different charge; operating beyond the stipulated hours.
Meanwhile. the government clarified the time bars and restaurants are required to close after a state of confusion following the lifting of the dusk-to-dawn curfew on Wednesday.
In a press briefing on Thursday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced that the time for closure of bars and restaurants had been reviewed and reverted to 11pm or the time stipulated in their licenses.
“We are reverting to the closure of bars and restaurants at 11pm or the time allowed by the licensing authorities,” said Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.
Kagwe, however, noted that the other existing protocols on hand-washing, social distancing and sanitizing shall remain enforced.
“This means that all facilities will still be expected to have hand-washing booths and abide by the sitting capacity,” he said.
This comes as a relief for bar owners who have been pleading with the government to extend their operating hours to enable them recover from the effects of Covid-19.