NO ENTRY!

Kenya, three other countries added to UK travel ban 'red list'

Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and Philippines will be added on April 9.

In Summary

• A statement from the High Commission said the difficult decision was taken by UK Ministers on March 31 following a review of the latest scientific evidence pertaining to the risk of community transmission of Covid- 19 variants.

• Kenya alongside Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines will be added to England’s so-called “red list” as of 4 am Friday 9 April.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, January 21, 2020.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta at 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, January 21, 2020.
Image: REUTERS

The British High Commission has informed Kenya of plans to add Kenya to its Covid-19- related quarantine list.

A statement from the High Commission said the difficult decision was taken by UK Ministers on March 31 following a review of the latest scientific evidence pertaining to the risk of community transmission of Covid- 19 variants.

Travellers from all countries are required to take Covid-19 tests on Days 2 and 8 following their arrival in the UK.

Of the average of 550 people that travel from Kenya to the UK each week, a significant number are testing positive on Day 2.

"Nearly a third of those testing positive have been carrying the B.1.351 variant, which originated in South Africa", the statement added.

“It is the UK government’s intention to maintain direct flights in light of the critical importance of ensuring trade and commercial links between the UK and Kenya.”

According to the Guardian, Kenya alongside Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines will be added to England’s so-called “red list” as of 4 am Friday 9 April.

The British government in an update said people who have been in or through any of the countries on the red list in the previous 10 days will be refused entry to the UK.

British or Irish nationals and those who have residence rights in the UK will be able to enter but must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

The full list of countries subject to the travel ban now includes Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh (from 4 am Friday 9 April), Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Guyana, Kenya (from 4 am Friday 9 April), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan (from 4 am Friday 9 April), Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines from 4 am Friday 9 April), Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Pursuant to this decision, only British nationals, Irish nationals, and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK will be permitted to travel to the UK.

British nationals, Irish nationals, and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK who have departed from or transited Kenya within the 10 days prior to their arrival in the UK will be required to quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved managed quarantine facility.

It will continue to be mandatory for all passengers arriving in the UK to take a test on days 2 and 8 of their 10-day quarantine period.

Members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the UK, officers, servants or representatives of international organisations, a representative at an international or UK conference granted privileges and immunities, and their families or dependents, however, do not need to complete passenger locator forms and are not subject to mandatory testing.

Neither will they be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel.

They will be asked to self-isolate in the place they will be staying in the UK for 10 days following arrival, as at present.

The British High Commission said that these are temporary measures that will be kept under review.

The travel restrictions will only remain in place while the level of risk is assessed to justify these measures.

Several countries including Portugal and Mauritius have been removed from the quarantine list as a result of measures introduced to mitigate the risk posed by Covid-19 variants of concern, including increased genomic surveillance to reduce the risk posed by variants of concern.

The British High Commission said it recognises that this news will be deeply disappointing for the Government of Kenya.

The move comes days after a British military base in Nanyuki was placed on lockdown after fears that soldiers who recently arrived in the country might have come with the new variant of the virus.

"The British Army Training Unit in Kenya (Batuk) camp has been placed in enhanced isolation after a very small number of soldiers tested positive for Covid-19," the British High Commission in Nairobi said in a statement.