FIGHT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS

No travel in or out of Kenya without Covid certificate

Travellers intending to depart the country must first visit an authorised laboratory.

In Summary

• The directive has been shared with major embassies in the country and other stakeholders to help manage the virus.

• The government is keen to stamp out fake certificates that affect the country’s credibility.

JKIA arrivals and departure terminal.
JKIA arrivals and departure terminal.
Image: FILE

No traveller will be allowed to fly out or into the country without a Covid-19-negative certificate, the government has directed.

The directive has been shared with major embassies in the country and other stakeholders to help manage the virus. For instance, the US Embassy has issued an alert to their nationals about the new directive.

"As of January 11, 2021, outgoing travellers must obtain a Covid-19-negative certificate in accordance with the Trusted Traveller (TT) Initiative (www.africacdc.org/trusted-travel) and the PanaBios system (www.panabios.org).

"Travellers who intend to depart Kenya must first visit an authorised laboratory (according to the government of Kenya, all PCR Covid-19 testing laboratories are now part of the TT system), obtain a PCR Covid-19 test with a negative result, and be issued a TT code that will be verified by airlines and immigration authorities," the alert, dated January 9, reads.

It added the traveller will receive a text message from PanaBios as well as an email from the testing laboratory and/or from [email protected] with a link to guide on how to generate a travel code at trustedtravel.panabios.org.

If the test result meets Kenya’s exit requirements, a travel code is issued to the traveller online. All Covid-19 testing laboratories, starting on Saturday, January 9, 2021, must use the TT process when issuing Covid-19 testing certificates.

The move is part of efforts by the government to stamp out fake certificates that affect the country’s credibility.

A traveller first visits only an authorised lab to take a PCR Covid-19 test. In Kenya, all authorised PCR Covid-19 testing laboratories have been linked to the trusted travel initiative.

Embassies have been told all passengers arriving in and transiting Kenya must have a PCR Covid-19-negative certificate for a test conducted 96 hours prior to travel that has been digitally verified through the Trusted Travel (TT) Initiative.

And as part of efforts to implement the new directive, all airline operators have been given a list of 44 laboratories that have been approved to test for Covid-19 and issue certificates and TT code.

Port Health officer in charge Benjamin Murkomen issued a memo dated January 11, saying a person intending to travel outside Kenya is expected to take the test at the laboratories.

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to inform you that any traveller with PCR results coming from non-approved lab shall not be allowed to travel through JKIA,” the memo reads.

The labs will be reviewed from time to time by the Ministry of Health, the official added. The list showed the labs are spread regionally, mostly in the old provinces.