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Health certificate, isolation a must for visitors to Kenya

Friday July 10 2020
NYS BUS

Passengers who landed at JKIA from abroad on March 24 board an NYS bus to be taken to different hotels for quarantine. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By WINNIE ATIENO

Visitors to Kenya will have to produce a Covid-19-free certificate before they are allowed into the country. They will then have to be quarantined for 14 days.

Giving the daily briefing in Mombasa on Thursday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe assured Kenyans that the government has not gone back on its earlier protocol.

 “The protocol is…you must be tested for Covid-19 certification before you leave the country where you are. You must have a negative certificate before you board the plane,” he said.

MANDATORY QUARANTINE

On Wednesday, the government had said there would be no mandatory quarantine for travellers to Kenya if they do not show Covid-19 symptoms.

Meanwhile, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia announced that only workers and travellers will be allowed at airports across the country, except for cases where travellers need special assistance.

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“There was a meeting between the transport sector and the Ministry of Health to determine how we are going to reopen public transport. But what CS Macharia was saying is that… when we open the airspace on August 1, probably there will be no certification required. But we have a protocol in place and we have not waived it,” Mr Macharia said.

On July 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the reopening of international air travel on August 1, much to the relief of aviation industry players and workers. Meanwhile, local air travel will resume on July 15 under guidelines from the Health and Transport ministries.

But hoteliers urged the government to ease the protocols, saying travel agents, insurance companies and tour operators have put in place adequate measures.

“You don’t take a holiday to be quarantined, tourists will not come if we emphasise on such strict protocols... Let’s use the international best practice and see what other destinations have adopted. This is a global phenomenon, so we must apply global standards,” said Mr Sam Ikwaye, executive officer at the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers, Coast region.

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