The Minister of Kampala Affairs, Betty Amongi has issued guidelines to arcade owners before the business centres can be reopened. The arcades were among the places closed during the lockdown in March as a measure to curb the spread of covid-19.
The guidelines issued include; keeping the premises and access ways clean, hygienic and not blocked, and that corridors and access ways are free of any obstruction, stockpiles and temporarily structures.
The arcade owners and the business people who operate in the business centres have also been asked to have adequate natural lighting and ventilation in the premises, a dedicated entry and exit point and dedicated persons to man them at all times.
KCCA also says that there should be a closed Circuit Television Camera-CCTV at each entry, exit and level and a body temperature screening of clients and attendants using functional infrared thermometers. There should be a dedicated isolation room in case they get any suspects.
There should be handwashing facilities, areas of convenience and dust bins. There should also be cleaners dressed in personal protective gear and that there should be adequate detergents to use in cleaning.
All tenants and attendants operating there should be registered and that they should wear masks and keep two meters away from their customers. Barriers should be put to ensure distancing.
All customers entering the arcades should be wearing masks and maintain a two-meter physical distancing. Management is also required to appoint compliance officers after training them on the guidelines set.
According to Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Betty Amongi these guidelines were reached between KCCA, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade and the representatives of arcade owners in meetings conducted after visiting and assessing the status quo in the arcades.
Arcades were among the places closed when the government declared a nationwide lockdown. Later, the government eased lockdown and opened some commercial areas Including standalone shops, garages and Malls but arcades that the government feared attracted large numbers of people remained closed. The government feared there would be no physical distancing guideline in the highly populated areas.
But now with the new guidelines in place, Amongi who was speaking at the government-owned Media Center says the arcades will be opened on a case by case basis upon fulfilment of the guidelines.
The arcade owners are supposed to invite a task force representing the three government agencies to inspect the implemented guidelines before reopening.
Godfrey Kirumira, the Chairman of the Kwagalana Group that comprises of a number of arcade owners says that the guidelines are practical and that they have started implementing them already such that they can be reopened.
When KCCA started touring the arcades to assess the provision of re-opening, the spokesperson of the Kampala City Traders Association Isa Sekitto said as leaders they would ensure that set guidelines by the government are followed.