A purported gazette notice titled ‘The Public Health (COVID-19 Prohibition of Sale of Alcoholic Drinks) Rules 2020’ has been circulating online, claiming that the Government of Kenya has banned the sale of alcoholic drinks in the country.
Kenya’s National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus on March 22 ordered the closure of all bars, in addition to suspending eat-in services at restaurants across the country. According to the committee, this move was aimed at enforcing the social distancing requirement in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 after the virus was first confirmed in Kenya on March 13.
The directive was later relaxed when restaurants were allowed to open for eat-in customers. President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 25 announced that restaurants and eateries that uphold protocols and measures against the spread of COVID-19 would be opened.
“We will allow a few restaurants and eateries that show the highest levels of health regulation compliance, and the ability to arrange for employee testing, to undertake minimal operations while maintaining measures that mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.
On the sale of alcoholic drinks, the protocols set by the ministry of health directed that: “Alcohol shall only be sold with a meal in the restaurant and only be served to customers waiting to be served a meal, during the meal, or 30 minutes after the meal has ended.”
Nonetheless, President Kenyatta’s public address on June 27 then declared that serving alcoholic drinks in restaurants and eateries is prohibited.
The sale of alcoholic drinks has however, not been prohibited.
A post published on the Ministry of Interior’s Twitter account warned that the gazette notice circulating is fake: