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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Kenya gives UK a dose of its medicine over travel ban

By The Frontier Post Reporte

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Kenya has banned passenger flights originating from or transiting through United Kingdom airports starting April 9.

In what appears to be reciprocating UK’s move to add Kenya on its ‘red list’, Nairobi said that the suspension will be reviewed in a month.

In a stinging letter to the British High Commission in Kenya, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), passengers from the UK will be required to produce negative Covid-19 certificate and valid Covid vaccine certification.

Kenya has instituted new protocols targeting Britain including having all passengers originating from or transiting through UK airports undergo mandatory 14-day isolation at a government-designated facility at their own cost upon entry into Kenya.

Nairobi noted that the move by the Boris Johnson led administration will have deep and far-reaching consequences especially on trade, travel, tourism and security cooperation between the two sides.

“All UK government officials and diplomats must have a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate and a valid Covid-19 negative PCR test certificate to enter Kenya,” Nairobi said in the terse statement.

Nairobi described the move as ‘disturbing’ and ‘unilateral’ and insisted that it does not reflect prevailing logic and scientific knowledge of the disease (covid-19) or its spread.

Nairobi was categorical that the decision was motivated by what it termed as a ‘discriminatory policy’ against certain countries and peoples.

“Kenya has been consistent in maintaining a positive stance towards the United Kingdom despite the challenges and disruptions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kenya has also remained in constant contact with the Government of the United Kingdom throughout this pandemic in order to maximize the opportunity for cooperation.” Kenya said it its protest letter.

What irked the Kenyan government, even more, is the fact that the country have remained a responsible actor, nationally, regionally, and globally throughout the pandemic period.

“Kenya’s performance in managing, combating and containing the spread of COVID-19 has been singled out and lauded by many partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO) as being exemplary and worthy of recognition and support,” MFA reiterated.

While in isolation, those affected will be subject to take two PCR COVID-19 tests, on day 2 and day 8 of their quarantine, at their own cost.

Interestingly, Kenyan nationals resident in the United Kingdom or transiting through United Kingdom airports into Kenya are exempt from the new measures.

UK added Kenya, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Pakistan on the Red List and announced that passengers from these countries would be denied entry from April 9.

British citizens will also be barred from leaving the UK for these countries, pending a review of Covid-19 infection statu

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