TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Covid should not stop tourists visiting Kenya

In Summary

• The UK and the USA have imposed travel restrictions to stop their citizens visiting Kenya

• Kenyan hoteliers have warned that the drop in visitors could fatally damage the tourism industry

Tourists take photos of cheetahs
Tourists take photos of cheetahs
Image: Douglas Okiddy

The Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers has warned that a new travel advisory over Covid from the United States could fatally injure the tourism industry (see P8).

Earlier this month the UK put Kenya on its Red List blocking entry to anyone except its own nationals and residents who themselves will have to quarantine in a government hotel.

In a tit-for-tat reaction, the Kenya government stopped inbound flights from the UK and ordered a strict quarantine for anyone coming from the UK.

The UK over-reacted by locking out travellers from Kenya but Kenya shot itself in the foot by retaliating. Instead, Kenya should be making it easier for foreign tourists to come to Kenya despite the advice of their governments.

The game parks and beaches are less crowded and therefore more attractive at the moment. Tourists arriving with a recent Covid negative test pose no great threat to Kenyans.

Government should do everything possible to keep foreign tourists visiting Kenya. It should allow them to charter internal flights and to travel by road anywhere in the country. This is the best way to retaliate against the American and British travel restrictions.

Quote of the day: "We shall win only by working together."

Gnassingbé Eyadéma 
The dictator seized power in Togo on April 14, 1967