Passports issued slump 51pc on low crossborder travel


A Kenyan passport. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The number of passports issued last year reduced to 219,090 a drop of 51 percent highlighting how Covid-19 and restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus affected travel across borders.

The number of foreigners registered in the country also dropped to 19,034 by 29.7 percent. This is because most European countries advised their citizens against travelling abroad.

The outbreak of Covid-19 in the country in March last year saw the country announce travel restrictions.

The government also announced temporary discontinuation of passenger operations at the country’s airports, a move that saw a significant drop in international aviation activities. The suspension of foreign travel also affected sporting activities when the Ministry of Sports banned sportsmen and women from travelling for international events.

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the resumption of domestic flights and international air passenger operations in July but the Ministry of Health announced guidelines for passengers to follow, especially those arriving from abroad such as self-isolation and contact tracing.

The Economic Survey also pointed out that the number of work permits issued decreased by 34.7 percent to 5,851 while the renewed work permits increased by 8.5 percent to 11,395 in 2020.

“The decline was attributed to reduced demand for travel documents due to travel restrictions imposed to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.”