The notice is titled “Public Health (Covid-19 Prohibition of Sale of Alcoholic Drinks) Rules 2020” and appears to completely ban the sale of alcohol, a measure adopted in other countries to slow the spread of Covid-19.
“Alcoholic drinks shall not be sold at restaurants, eateries, bars, food courts, and entertainment joints and wines and spirits shops,” it reads.
“Bars, night clubs, wines and spirits shops and entertainment joints engaged in the sale of alcoholic drinks shall remain closed effective 27 July 2020.”
It goes on: “Any person consuming alcoholic drinks in any of the public places mentioned in the gazette notice will be violating the law and will be on conviction, liable to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand shillings or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both.”
It appears to have been signed by health minister Mutahi Kagwe on 24 July.
But is the document genuine? We checked.
President forbids alcohol sales in restaurants for 30 days
President Uhuru Kenyatta did issue a directive on 27 July banning “the sale of alcoholic drinks and beverages in eateries and restaurants” for 30 days.
“Bars shall remain closed until further notice,” the president said, adding that bars that broke the rule risked having their licenses withdrawn.
But supermarkets and liquor stores in Kenya are still open for business and can still sell alcohol.
We also checked the gazette notice issued on 24 July and the special issue published the same day, and did not find any notice about a total ban on alcohol in Kenya.
‘Fake,’ says interior ministry
On 31 July, Kenya’s interior ministry tweeted a screenshot of the notice circulating on Facebook, with “FAKE” stamped in red across it. They warned the public to “beware of a fake gazette notice”. – Grace Gichuhi
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