These are strict rules restaurants will have to follow once they reopen.

The government has allowed restaurants to open their doors even as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 365.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that while Kenya looks to other countries to learn how business can reopen, the government has put measures that could keep the country safe.

He said:

We have to take our own measures, which are based on our experience and what we have seen.

Mr Kagwe noted that people working during this period have been struggling to find places to eat, and recommended additional rules for restaurants that will operate to serve them.

Owners of eateries will be required to get their staff tested for Covid-19.

They can only open their businesses once their employees have tested negative.

Anybody walking into a restaurant must wash their hands first and be wearing a mask. The restaurants that are going to open will do so with people who have been tested and are Covid-19-free,” he said, adding that persons who have not been tested cannot operate eateries. Mr Kagwe said the owners of the restaurants ought to pay for the cost of testing their employees. While the government has been testing for free, the cost for a test in private hospitals ranges between Sh8,500 and Sh10,500.

The Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers Chief Executive Officer Mike Macharia said they are still in talks with the ministry over the testing as it might prove to be expensive.

He said:

We’re also exploring options of keeping those we have tested at the hotels because the only way to stay negative is to ensure the employees do not go to the masses.

Mr Macharia noted that in regard to other measures such as sanitation and cleanliness, the hotels are ready and have come up with ways to ensure they are above board.

The CS said diners’ body temperatures will also be checked and access restricted to those showing signs of fever.

Any staff member or reveller with temperature above 37.5°C shall not be allowed into the premises, and they shall immediately notify the Ministry of Health.

Mr Kagwe said there will also be no buffets and self-service meals.

He added:

The tables within the dining areas must be spaced at least 1.5 metres apart and customers must also maintain social distancing.

The CS said workers should also maintain social distance while in kitchens. The CS announced that three more people from Nairobi, four in Mombasa and one in Kwale tested positive. He said eight more patients have been discharged, bringing the total number of those who have recovered from Covid-19 to 114.