New Covid-19 Rules for Travelling in Kenya

  • A photo of an immigration official serves travellers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.
    An immigration official serves travellers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.
    File
  • The Ministry of Health (MoH), on November 18, issued a new set of directives for anyone traveling into or transiting through Kenya.

    This new move comes amid what has been dubbed as the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, with record-breaking numbers registered in the last 50 days.

    "All passengers arriving and transiting Kenya must have a nucleic acid test (PCR) Covid-19 negative certificate for a test conducted 96 hours prior to travel,

    "Passengers whose certificates expire while on transit will be required to deposit their passport with the airport port health authorities and facilitate testing in a recognized facility at own cost," reads an excerpt of the memo sent to all ports of entry by the MoH.

    New Covid-19 travel regulations.
    New Covid-19 travel regulations.
    Kenyans.co.ke

    The new rules are to be effected immediately as per the Ministry's directive.

    "The mandatory ministry of health traveler's health service online form must be filled and submitted prior to travel," the memo further reads.

    Guest landing in Nairobi will now be released from the aircrafts in batches of 30 to avoid overcrowding at the screening area.

    MoH urged all guests or returning citizens to adhere to Covid-19 prevention protocols at all airports and inside the aircrafts.

    October 2020 was Kenya's toughest month in the fight against Covid-19 with 285 people losing their lives to the virus. This translates to an average of nearly 10 deaths a day.

    The month started with a fairly low number of infections at 184 on October 1. But on October 31, the country recorded the highest number of cases yet at 1,395. 

    A surge in cases as well as fatalities (now at 72,686 and 1,313 respectively) saw President Uhuru Kenyatta call for an impromptu session with the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC).

    President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation on November 4, 2020.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation.
    PSCU

    He went on to issue a new set of directives to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

    On August 1, Kenya Airways (KQ) resumed international passenger services following the easing of movement restrictions.

    Following the resumption, the airline announced its plans to start operations to USA, China and Thailand from October 2020.

    Some of the safety measures the airline has put in place to ensure the safety of passengers include the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by the flight crew and airport workers where necessary, and limited interaction between crew and passengers. 

    The airline is also providing sanitizer stations onboard and washing of hands will be encouraged by crew on board the flights.

    All the aircrafts are fitted with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. The filters ensure that the quality of air on board is kept clean by constant filtration and replacement with air from outside the aircraft. 

    They also trap particulates such as viruses and bacteria, and as the air flows primarily from the ceiling to the floor, it helps minimize particulates spreading throughout the cabin.

    Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) International Arrival Terminal. Thursday, February 14, 2020
    Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) International Arrival Terminal. Thursday, February 14, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke