Deputy President William Ruto's Weston Hotel, located along Langata Road, Nairobi shut down as Kenya faces the harsh reality of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, with 31 cases, one death and one recovery registered so far.
In a notice seen by Kenyans.co.ke on Friday, March 27, the posh hotel assured its customers that it was focused on aiding the nation to combat the spread of the virus.
The hotel closure will commence on Monday, March 30 until further notice.Weston Hotel located along Langata road in NairobiDaily Nation
"We wish to assure you that The Weston Hotel is committed to optimising care and precautions to minimise the spread of the COVID-19."
"During this period, which is by all accounts unprecedented, we will keep our communication lines open and we will be happy to attend to any concerns or inquiries," a statement by the management read.
The White Rhino Hotel in Nyeri County, also shut down, with the management issuing a statement in regards to the pandemic outbreak in Kenya.
"It is with great difficulty that we notify you that we have resolved to close all our facilities from Friday, March 27. Since this is a developing situation globally, we are not in a position to state when we will resume our operations. However, like everybody else, we hope that this pandemic ends soon," a statement by operations director Patrick Kairu, dated Thursday, March 26, read.
The closure of the two hotels came at a time travellers from abroad, who landed in Kenya after the nation confirmed her first Coronavirus case on Friday, March 13, were directed to self-quarantine, with many opting for hotels around the country.
On Sunday, March 22, while addressing the media outside President Uhuru Kenyatta's Harambee House office, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe appealed to hotels not to charge more than 50 per cent of their normal rates, after those on self-quarantine lamented over the predicament of exorbitant prices.
"We want to thank hotels that have already admitted those under self-quarantine. However, we are appealing to you that your customers landed in Kenya without plans to spend money in the hotels.
"If your charges are at Ksh12,000, you should be charging not more than 50 per cent of that charge. This is business you did not expect. Reduce the rates as part of your social corporate responsibility," Kagwe urged.
Kagwe further ordered the closure of all bars and clubs in the country and directed restaurants and eateries to only serve takeaway orders.
While speaking with Kenyans.co.ke on Friday, March 27, Nicholas Gachara, a private consultant warned that closure of businesses spelt doom on Kenya's economy, arguing that if the employees were not on a paid leave, then the economy would contract.
"There is a risk of the economy contracting as businesses are closing. People don't have disposable income, therefore, they cannot spend on the economy. They cannot purchase goods. In three or four months, the economy may contract and this would pose another challenge," Gachara stated.
The government on Tuesday, March 24 also shared an official list of hotels in Nairobi and Mombasa which are being used to quarantine visitors coming into the country, in line with directives announced by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.
The list was shared hours after reports surfaced of visitors complaining over excessive delays and confusion over the order to quarantine all passengers arriving at airports, including the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Quarantine hotels in Nairobi and Mombasa announced on March 24 include Hill Park Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Nairobi, Safari Park, Pride Inn Hotels, Jacaranda Hotel, Trademark Hotel, Four Points Sheraton, Boma Hotel, KMTC's, Kenyatta University and Kenya School of Government.
Others are Crown Plaza, Mombasa Beach Hotel, La Mada Hotel, Concord Hotel, University of Nairobi, KCB Leadership Centre, Cooperative University, The Clarion Hotel, The Comfort Hotel, Mashpark Hotel, Eka Hotel and Land Mark Suites.Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addressing the media outside Afya House on March 18, 2020.
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