Traders under the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) have resolved to open their shops in arcades starting tomorrow, Tuesday, despite the ongoing suspension by government aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Arcades were among the places closed when the government declared a nationwide lockdown. Later, the government eased lockdown and opened some commercial areas including stand alone shops, garages and Malls but arcades were left closed because government feared that they attract large numbers of people.
On Monday morning, KACITA issued a notice to its members who work from arcades to resume business tomorrow but under Standard Operating Procedures.
“Enough is enough, all traders operating your business in arcades, come and open your shops tomorrow 14th July, 2020 as we follow the directives of the Ministry of Health (S.O.Ps),” read the notice by KACITA.
KACITA’s Chairman, Everest Kayondo, confirmed to this news website that they have resolved to forcefully reopen the arcades but promised to provide further details after a meeting he said he was attending.
“We are going to forcefully open the arcades because government has failed to allow us resume work. Allow me finish the meeting I am currently attending, then I give you reporters an update,” Kayondo told this reporter.
Last week, the Minister of Kampala Affairs, Betty Amongi issued guidelines to arcade owners before the business centres can be reopened.
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 were 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.
She said 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 were asked to be registered and that they should wear masks and keep two meters away from their customers. Barriers should be put to ensure distancing.
The Minister said 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.