Bar and Restaurant owners in Murang’a have appealed to the government to have their workers prioritized in the ongoing administration of Covid-19 vaccination.
Members of Bars, Hotels and Liquor Traders Association on Monday said their workers interact with many customers on a daily basis thus the need to have them get the jab against Covid-19.
Led by their Chairman Mr Simon Njoroge Jogoo, the traders in a press briefing in a Murang’a hotel observed that they have been trying to have their workers get the vaccination at health centres in vain.
Hospitals where the vaccine is being administered, the bar owners claimed are crowded and priority is only being given to health workers, teachers and those aged above 58 years.
“Our business involves many customers and there is a need for our staff to be listed as frontline workers due to the nature of the work they do,” said a member of the association Mr Macharia Karanja.
In Murang’a County there are about 2,500 restaurants which have employed more than 15,000 workers.
“We just need about 15,000 doses of the vaccine for our workers so we request the government to avail the jabs so that we protect our staff and customers,” he added.
The Chairman said administration of the vaccine among the hotel and bar workers will assist their businesses to operate without fear of spreading the virus.
Meanwhile, Njoroge lauded the County government of Murang’a for waiving part of fees levied to bar and hotel licenses.
He said after the third wave of Covid-19 hit the Country, the Murang’a administration led by Governor Mwangi wa Iria reduced the amount charged to licenses by 50 per cent.
“We are a bit relieved by the move of our County government to reduce the license fee by half. Bars are supposed to have three operating licenses including that of liquor, health and single permit. The total amount used to be more than Sh 30,000 but now we only pay Sh. 15, 000,” he added.
The Chairman of the association further reflected that since Covid-19 was reported in the Country, the hospitality businesses were badly hit asking the government to come up with ways to help those lost employment, especially hotel and bar workers.
“As a National Chairman of the liquor traders association, I appeal to our members to strictly adhere to protocols given by the government to help contain the spread of Covid-19. Those found flouting the regulations should not run to us seeking help. We know many businesses are affected so adhering to the regulations will help us go back to normal operations,” he further said.
Speaking in the same event, Trizah Njeri, a bar owner said they are ordering their customers to follow the given guidelines asking Murang’a County government to consider extending operation hours.
“We work for only three hours. Our appeal is to get one or two more hours. The County government can consider allowing us to open our businesses either from 2 or 3pm since curfew hours start at 10 pm,” she appealed.
By Bernard Munyao