The Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurants association has called for the government to lift the ban on the sale of alcohol in pubs and restaurants. The ban was occasioned by the fact that some time back, they were accused of not following the social distancing measures.
The ban has occasioned losses to the owners of the establishments as well as employees with livelihoods lost as thousands of employees were rendered jobless. In an economy which is already not doing too well, this has dealt a death knell to some of these establishments.
On their part, the association has intimated that they working to help develop protocols that will enable bars and restaurants to resume operations safely and prevent the spread of Covid-19. In as much as they were disappointed with the fact that the President Uhuru Kenyatta during his last address did not allow them to reopen, they were grateful for the directive that they work with other stakeholders to come up with protocols to ensure a self-regulation mechanism that will work.
The association also highlighted the issue of increased consumption of illicit alcohol during this period. This was due to down-trading, where customers adjust their spending to the size of their wallets, and this unfortunately results in drinkers who take the affordable but safe alcohol resorting to illicit drinks. This is at a time when Kenya Revenue Authority is seeking to increase Excise Duty which is bound to make alcohol more expensive further dealing a blow to the members of the association.