CS Omamo Meets UK Counterpart After Travel Ban Uproar

  • Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo
    Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Lower Kabete in Kiambu For a Consultative Devolution meeting. Thursday, February 20, 2020
    Simon Kiragu
  • Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo on Wednesday, April 7, met with her UK counterpart Dominic Raab, following an uproar on the travel ban issued to Kenya by the UK.

    In a statement, the Ministry indicated that the two held positive deliberations and agreed on the establishment of a Joint Emergency Committee to address Covid-19 Emergency travel restrictions.

    Additionally, they discussed the strength of the relationship between the two countries in terms of trade, regional security, and health.

    An aeroplane mid-air
    An aeroplane mid-air

    The meeting followed an uproar from Kenyan citizens over the weekend after UK banned Kenyan citizens from entering the country.

    In a notice, the UK has categorized Kenya as a high-risk country with regards to 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," reads an excerpt of the statement.

    In a quick rejoinder, Kenya directed all passengers originating from or transiting through UK airports to go through mandatory 14-day isolation at a government-designated facility at their own cost upon entry into the country.

    The government stated that the decision by the United Kingdom would have consequences on Kenya-UK trade, travel, tourism and security co-operation.

    It further stated that the decision was disturbing because the UK and Kenya had a strong and long-lasting relationship that benefits various sectors such as health, education, security, travel, trade, and people to people relations.

    The government noted that UK’s decision was discriminatory as the claims did not reflect logic and scientific knowledge of the disease or the spread of the pandemic.

    "Kenya has been consistent in maintaining a positive attitude towards the United Kingdom despite the challenges and disruptions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic," the statement read in part.

    A file image showing the inside an airports lobby
    A file image showing the inside an airports lobby.