Economy

Unvaccinated travellers barred from entry points

kcca

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general Gilbert Kibe. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

Summary

  • Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general Gilbert Kibe said on Thursday the new directive would not affect travellers aged below 18.
  • Kenya has seen coronavirus resurgence with a rapidly rising caseload since confirmation of the highly infectious Omicron variant last week.

All travellers arriving in Kenya through any point of entry will be required to have a Covid-19 vaccination certificate in a move aimed at taming the spread of the virus.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general Gilbert Kibe said on Thursday the new directive would not affect travellers aged below 18.

The new rules further state that there will be no paper verification of Covid-19 test results and vaccination certificates upon arrival in Kenya. Airlines should ensure that all travellers have uploaded both documents into global haven before boarding.

The new measures are aimed at curbing the rising cases of Covid-19.

Kenya has seen coronavirus resurgence with a rapidly rising caseload since confirmation of the highly infectious Omicron variant last week.

The positivity rate — the ratio of positive tests — rose from 29.6 percent on Monday to 32.5 percent on Thursday, which is among the highest since Kenya recorded the first coronavirus case on March 12 last year.

“All passengers arriving into Kenya through any point of entry must have a certificate of Covid-19 vaccination. Travellers below the age of 18 are exempt from this requirement,” said Mr Kibe in the Notam issued on December 21.

The aviation regulator further said travellers from 11 countries will have to undergo a mandatory rapid antigen test before entry to check the spread of the Omicron variant. They include South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Eswatini, Lesotho, Ghana, Namibia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia.

The KCAA said the list would be updated depending on the evolution of the variant globally.

The new directives come at a time countries such as Ghana are fining airlines $3,500 (Sh396,000) for every passenger they fly in who is not vaccinated against Covid-19 or who tests positive for the virus upon arrival.

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