Following months of total shutdown, President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has finally opened schools, churches, public transport, and air transport with strings attached.
Addressing the country on Monday, Kenyatta said that the country’s medical scientists had guided him for the phased reopening on the pretext that citizens were not all that ready.
“According to them, a series of irreducible minimums had to be met before we could consider the easing of the containment measures in place,” he pointed out.
While there remain a few loopholes here and there, Kenyatta disclosed that at least they had “reached a reasonable level of preparedness.”
Kenyatta thus lifted the movement restrictions between the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa, and Mandera County to the north with effect from 4:00 am on Tuesday. The measure had previously been instituted by the inter-county spread of the virus.
However, he warned that authorities will not hesitate in reinstating previous measures in case citizens exhibit complacency.
“In the next 21 days, we shall study the patterns of interactions and the spread of the disease. Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to the lockdown at zero option,” Kenyatta vowed.
That said, for one to operate a Public Service Van (PSV) in the above-mentioned areas, he/she must seek certification from the Health and Transport Ministries.
On the other hand, the President also ordered the reopening of worship places to a crowd of not more than one hundred people after guidelines are developed by the Inter-Faith Council.
On the flip side, Kenyatta extended the ban on Sunday school and barred vulnerable groups from attending religious services.
“That Sunday schools and madrassas shall remain suspended until further notice and in person worship shall not include congregants under the age of 13 years or above the age of 58 years or persons with underlying conditions,” he added.
In the same vein, he retorted that it had been found wise for education institutions to resume their 2020 Academic Year following high-level consultations with different stakeholders.
“The ministry of education shall jointly with all stakeholders in the sector, not later than tomorrow, notify the public on the resumption of the 2020 Academic Calendar for basic Education and Tertiary Institutions,” he ordered.
However, Kenyatta maintained limitations on funerals, weddings and restricted bars from operating normally.
“That the restriction of operation of bars to take away only, and the restrictions on the number of persons who can attend weddings and funerals is extended for a further period of 30 days,” the statement stated.
At the tail end, Kenyatta said that while the Government intends to play its part in regards to observance of these guidelines, citizens must also show goodwill.
The nationwide curfew that is currently in force between the hours of 9 PM and 4 AM daily has been extended by another month.