The association of bar owners in Uganda has drafted standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prove to relevant authorities that they are prepared to protect their customers from Covid-19 once they are allowed to resume operations.
The SOPs were unveiled Friday during a press conference held at Kati Kati Restaurant in Lugogo, Kampala. The conference was presided over by Tesfalem Gherahtu, the chairman of Uganda Bar Owners Association and Medard Rukundo, a member of the executive committee.
Making a case for resuming operations, the officials said bars are a key player in the hospitality industry, sustaining over 6.3 million people in a diverse value chain that consists of manufacturers, grain farmers, contracted distributors and retailers.
“Bars significantly contribute to the economy through provision of employment, remittances to the national treasury through taxes and support to the retail and trade sector from which supplies are sourced,” they said.
According to Gherahtu, the bar business generates about Shs2.8 trillion annually in revenue and since March 2020, bars have suffered a revenue loss of Shs1.1 trillion and continue to count losses as they remain closed.
“It goes without saying that the continued closure has led to massive job losses with many individuals previously employed in bars now out of jobs,” he said.
“The bar businesses have also been forced to lay off staff, dealing a major blow to many Ugandans who are employed as cleaners, bouncers, service staff, chefs, accountants, storekeepers, security personnel, to mention but a few,” he went on.
“As time goes by, the situation becomes even direr for bar owners whose rent is overdue, continue to incur losses from expired stock, and are under even more distress as they fail to meet their credit obligations.”
The association, basing on the above, has urged the government to allow them to re-open their businesses with strict adherence to Covid-19 SOPs.
“The safety of our customers and the nation are a top priority for us and we will work with all stakeholders to ensure that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are implemented and strictly followed,” officials said.
Below are the SOPs they have designed:
All patrons must wear face masks before admission.
• All patrons and staff must wash hands with soap/sanitizer provided by the outlet.
• Temperature of all patrons and staff will be checked using hand-held temperature guns; persons with a temperature above 37.0°C will be denied entry and handed over to the authorities.
• Registration of client details (names, telephone contact, temperature reading, and time of arrival) will be carried out to ease contact tracing. Persons who decline to provide their details will be denied entry to the outlet.
• Bars will operate at 50% of normal capacity to allow sufficient social distancing and crowd control. • Outdoor seating will be encouraged over indoor seating.
• No usage of air-conditioning.
• No loud music shall be played to avoid clients having to shout when talking.
• A 2-meter distance will be observed between tables.
• All surfaces including tables, chairs, and counters will be sanitized before clients sit and after they leave.
• All bar staff will always wear face masks.
• Cashless transactions will be encouraged.
• Management of all bars shall ensure the availability of sufficient security to evict non-complying clients.
• Curfew hours shall be respected by all outlets and all bars will close at 8:00 pm to allow sufficient time for clients to travel home before 9:00 pm.
We are open to working with the Ministry of Health and other government entities to put in place the necessary measures to ensure safety of our patrons and customers.