INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Expect challenges, State tells international passengers

China, Japan, Canada, Uganda, France, Ethiopia, Rwanda on list of countries to fly in.

In Summary

• Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said as the country still adjusts to the resumption of the flights, there is a high possibility that while observing the laid down protocols, some technicalities will be encountered.

China,  South Korea, Japan, Canada, Uganda, France, Namibia,  Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Switzerland  and  Morocco on the list of countries to be allowed. 

KAA workers cleaning the new International Arrivals Facility
KAA workers cleaning the new International Arrivals Facility
Image: FILE

The government has asked passengers travelling to various countries to be psychologically prepared to encounter some inconveniences.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said ahead of the resumption of international travel, the government through relevant ministries has put travel protocols in place to ensure the safety of the travellers.

He said as the country still adjusts to the resumption of the flights, there is a high possibility that while observing the laid down protocols, some technicalities will be encountered.

 
 

“In view of covid-19 situations, as you know these unprecedented times, I wish to apologise in advance for any inconveniences that will be experienced as we begin this new face of our new normal," he said.

He added, "Categorisation of which passengers will be subjected to what will depend on risk easement of the Covid-19 situation from countries of arrival and travel to".

Kagwe said the travel guidelines will change from time to time as different countries experience changing circumstances.

So far Kenya has reported 20,636 after 723 more people tested positive of the virus.

Kagwe said the 723 were from a sample of 8, 679 tests done in the last 24hrs.

The cumulative samples tested now stand at 303,959 since the first case was reported in March.

Some 44 patients were discharged from hospitals within the same period bringing the total of recoveries to 8,165.

 

However, 16 more patients succumbed to the virus raising fatalities in the country to 341.

To avoid crowding at the airport, the CS said there is a a mobile app for passengers to fill details to be traced when necessary.

"As the situation in Spain and UK, these guidelines are not unique to Kenya and passengers should expect them to change from time to time,” Kagwe said.

He said the guidelines however have nothing to do with diplomatic rights or relationships.

“It has nothing to do with diplomatic relationships but protecting Kenyans from imported cases,” he said.

 

Kagwe said the first Covid-19 case was an imported one and if no guidelines are put in place, Kenyans might be exposed to another wave of imported cases.

“We are currently battling with community infections and we do not intend to start another wave of imported infection,” Kagwe said.

On Thursday, the government announced a communiqué with protocols that the passengers will have to meet.

The announcement included the list of 11 countries whose nationals will be allowed to fly into Kenya.

Transport CS James Macharia said  China,  South Korea, Japan, Canada, Uganda, France, Namibia,  Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Switzerland  and  Morocco who have mild and limited community transmission and will be allowed.

The CS said the list will be reviewed on a regular basis depending on the circumstances on the ground and after a comprehensive global mapping of the intensity of the disease.

According to the communiqué, all the passengers arriving in the country will be required to produce a PCR based Covid-19 certificate whose test should have been done 96 hours before travel.

“Let it be clear that those who will have a certificate of tests done before the stipulated 96 hrs will not be allowed to board in the first place. On arrival the passengers’ temperature should not exceed 37.5 degrees and not display any Covid-19 related signs,” Macharia said.

He said only such passengers will be exempted from quarantine.