UK Hits Kenya With New Travel Restrictions

President Uhuru Kenyatta shakes Queen Elizabeth II's hand in 2018.

The British High Commission in Kenya on Friday, April 2, announced that Kenya would be introduced in its red list - banning Kenyan citizens from entering the United Kingdom. 

The decision was made after Kenya was categorised as a high-risk country in the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

From April 9, British and Irish citizens who have been in or transited through Kenya in the previous 10 days will be declined entry into England unless they undertake a compulsory ten-day quarantine. The same courtesy will be extended to Kenyans who already have residence rights in the UK. 

"Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights arriving from these countries will be required to quarantine in a Government-approved facility for 10 days," the High Commission explained. 

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.

Kenya will join Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa, among other countries also listed in the red list travel banned countries.

Kenyans have strongly reacted to the new travel restrictions touching on travelers entering the United Kingdom from Kenya. 

"The UK should deal with it's incompetent handling of Covid virus. If we (Kenya) had real leaders here, we should have stopped travel from the UK along time ago. UK is the hotbed of the virus with it's own homegrown variant," one Kenyan stated.

Kenyans blamed President Uhuru Kenyatta for not locking down the country, saying British militia were responsible for bringing the virus into the country.

They also questioned the fact that travelers from the UK were exempted from quarantine with the only requirement being a negative Covid-19 test be taken within 96 hours of travel.

"It is crazy how busy we have gotten over the past months. We are full most weekends. A lot of Europeans and Brits are coming down to stay for long periods," the hotel's manager was quoted by British magazine The Independent.

This comes after the British High Commission in Nairobi was quoted saying Kenya was likely to be added to the red list by March 29, 2021, due to its slackness in closing the Tanzanian border

“For weeks, red list rumors have been circulating Nairobi; a refusal to close borders with neighboring Tanzania, which has not published coronavirus statistics since May 2020, was touted as a key factor,” read a publication by the Telegraph newspaper in Britain.

The move will see travelers quarantine for ten days in Ksh226,971 government-sanctioned hotels. 

A plane at a runaway
A plane at a runaway