Kenyans willing to pay for their repatriation flight from China will have to sign a declaration requiring them to abide by quarantine conditions as the government tightens screening of new arrivals.
A notice by the Kenyan embassy in China said Kenya Airways flight KQ883 will be leaving Guangzhou on May 8 if a sufficient number of Kenyans sign up.
The flight had been planned to leave on May 1 but was rescheduled as KQ sought for permission to land as a chartered flight in China.
Some 165 Kenyans had registered to pay for the flight from China.
But before they board, they will have to sign a declaration showing that they are free of Covid-19, indicate all countries they have visited in a fortnight as well as accept to stay in a hotel in Nairobi for 14 days.
The regulation by the Ministry of Health also requires that they stick by a list of hygiene rules besides paying for their stay in hotel rooms.
“All passengers must produce covid-19 Nucleic Acid amplification test in qualified hospitals before boarding the flight. The test cost should be on passenger’s own account. Test certificate should be within 11 days of departure. Send the form to [email protected] by the end of May 6, 2020,” reads a statement.
The flight will cost $1,150 (Sh123,291) for business class and $750 (Sh80,407) for economy.
Officially, the government says it is neither evacuating nor repatriating its nationals in China or anywhere else in the world.
Instead, officials have insisted on “facilitation”, referring to those who actually had travel plans but got disrupted by the imposition of lockdowns and travel restrictions.
Kenya’s Ambassador to China Sarah Serem last week said her embassy had secured amnesty for those who had overstayed their visas to ensure they are not arrested or deported for violating immigration rules.
However, she said the embassy did not have funds to pay for any evacuation.
“The one and major role of the embassy is to facilitate the Kenyans who want to fly home, ensure they have the right papers and the laws of both countries are adhered to; issue emergency travelling documents to those with missing passports and ensure the aircraft gets landing rights.”
Meanwhile, the Kenya Airways flight from London that was meant to repatriate Kenyans was rescheduled to the first week of May to allow travellers more time to get Covid-19 clearance certificates.