TRAVEL RESUMPTION

SGR to resume on Monday as state spells transport rules

Madaraka Express shall begin with one train

In Summary

•Kenya Railways shall deploy 10 coaches for passengers with a total one-way capacity of 600 passengers.

•The Protocol for Air Travel Operations will guide resumption of flights during the Covid-19 period.

Passengers at the Nairobi terminus going to board the SGR passenger train to Mombasa.
Passengers at the Nairobi terminus going to board the SGR passenger train to Mombasa.
Image: FILE

Madaraka Express passenger services will resume next Monday, Transport CS James Macharia said yesterday, as he announced guidelines for the transport sector following the cessation of movement.

Airlines will be allowed to carry full capacity as domestic flights resume next Wednesday, to be followed by international flights on August 1.

Those flying at night will be allowed through curfew hours by use of tickets with arrivals using boarding pass incase they land during curfew hours.

Airport travellers will not be escorted of received by large groups.

 

Madaraka Express shall begin with one train from Nairobi to Mombasa at 8:00am which will arrive in Mombasa at 12:45pm. 

The train out of Mombasa will leave at 1:25pm and arrive in Nairobi at 6:40pm, giving ample time for passengers to travel to their final destinations prior  to the 9:00pm curfew, Macharia said.

Kenya Railways shall deploy 10 coaches for passengers with a total one-way capacity of 600 passengers (or 50% of capacity), and one additional coach that shall be used to isolate passengers suspected to be infected with Covid-19.

"We shall also provide a Nairobi Commuter Rail Service train that will link the Nairobi SGR Terminus to the Nairobi CBD," Macharia said.

This service shall run from Nairobi CBD to the SGR Terminus at 6:35am every morning, and from the SGR Terminus to Nairobi CBD at 6:50pm in the evening

Cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa County and Mandera County, lapsed on Tuesday 4:00 a.m, allowing movement in an out of the three counties. 

The Protocol for Air Travel Operations will guide resumption of flights during the Covid-19 period.

 

"Airport terminal access shall henceforth be restricted to workers and travelers only, except for cases where travelers need special assistance," Macharia said.

The new protocol also includes measures to minimise contact between crew and passengers at the airport terminus, and to limit physical contact between security officers and passengers, and between airport staff and luggage.

Macharia said air operators will also reduce on-board service to the bare minimum, and introduce phased boarding and disembarkation procedures to eliminate crowding at the aisles.

"Where there is a suspected case of COVID-19 on the flight, the crew shall be quarantined at home or at a designated facility. If they test negative for Covid-19, they shall be allowed to resume normal duties," he said.

The CS said a number of airlines have confirmed that they will resume local operations to various destinations across Kenya.

These are Kenya Airways, Jambojet, Aim Air, Boscovic Air and Scenic Safaris.

Macharia said the airlines will not have to reduce their capacity because of the complex and robust measures put in place

“If we did so, no airline will fly because the cut off points for airlines to break even is 75 per cent capacity. If you do 50 per cent, no airline will fly because they will be making losses,” he said.

Passengers flying into and out of Kenya will require Covid-19 free certificates.

Public service vehicles moving in and out of counties that had been affected by lockdown will be required to have a mandatory certification from the Ministry of Health, in consultation with the Ministry of Transport.

Transport CS James Macharia said the move is aimed at curbing the virus from spreading.

The protocols specify what needs to be taken to enforce physical distancing, facilitate contact tracing, and to manage suspected Covid-19 cases.

0n March 20, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe urged PSV operators to carry few passengers in the fight against the coronavirus.

"Fourteen seater matatus should carry eight passengers only," Kagwe said.

Kagwe said 25 seater PSVS should carry 15 passengers only.

A thirty-seater matatu and above should maintain 60 per cent seating capacity.

Passenger manifest for long-distance passengers will be kept.

He said those flying in will be expected to have the certificates.

Macharia said for those flying at night will be given special dispensation.

Such travellers will be required to show their tickets with their taxi.

A huge number of people accompanying those traveling will not be allowed.

Macharia said the pricing issue will be dictated by competitive forces.

“If we overprice, we shall fly nobody,” he said.

PSV passengers for long distance will not however be tested with the CS saying it is not feasible and practical.

They will , however,be screened.