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Bars warn of Sh50bn loss in alcohol ban

Alice Opee
Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants Association of Kenya Chairperson Alice Opee. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NMG 

Bar and restaurant operators have opposed the fresh plan to ban drinking of alcohol inside their premises, saying it will result in Sh50 billion loss in revenues.

Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya (Parek) national chairperson Alice Opee Wednesday said about 500,000 jobs were also on the line.

“We have noted with concern the draft regulation by the Ministry of Health in circulation. If the proposal is approved, about 500,000 of our youth will be rendered jobless and businesses are likely to collapse,” said Ms Opee.

A draft legal notice by the Ministry of Health plans to bar the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, eateries, parking lots, entertainment joints, supermarkets or wines and spirits shops to tame the spread of coronavirus.

It also states that operating hours of any business establishment that sells alcohol shall be between 9am and 7:30pm.

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A person who commits an offence under these rules shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh20,000 or to imprisonment for a period not more than six months or both.

Ms Opee termed the draft regulations illegal saying restaurants and pubs have gone through a lengthy and tedious process to re-open their operations, a process that has costed individual operators between Sh250,000 and Sh1 million.

She said the move will also see their sales drop by a substantial margin, because they are currently only operating at 40 percent capacity.

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