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Bars are free to operate – Health CS Mutahi Kagwe

By Winfrey Owino | October 21st 2021

Mutahi Kagwe clarifies bar operating hours. [File, Standard]

Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe has clarified that bars and restaurants will close at 11 pm or the time stipulated by their licenses.

This follows confusion after President Uhuru Kenyatta, in his Mashujaa Day speech, lifted the 10 pm to 4 am curfew, but remained silent on bar operating hours.

Addressing journalists at Afya House in Nairobi on Thursday, October 21, Kagwe said bars will operate normally but in accordance with their license regulations.

“We will revert to the closure of bars at 11 pm or the time allowed by the regulator. However, all Ministry of Health protocols remain in force,” he said.

Before Kagwe’s communication, there was confusion over the operating hours of the bars after the National Police Service and Tourism ministry gave contradicting statements.

On Wednesday, the Police Service, through its official Twitter page, directed all bars to close by 7 pm. On the other hand, Tourism CS Najib Balala was quoted by The Star saying the lifting of the curfew meant bars and restaurants were free to operate without previous restrictions.

Bars countrywide are legally allowed to operate between 5 pm and 11 pm on weekdays and 2 pm and 11 pm on weekends. However, there are entertainment joints that have licenses to operate overnight.

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