Unvaccinated Kenyan travellers get reprieve


A Kenya Airways ground crew checks in passengers at the Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi, on August 1, 2020. PHOTO | AFP

The unvaccinated Kenyans coming back to the country have received a sigh of relief following a directive by the aviation regulator allowing them to travel but must undergo mandatory inoculation at the airport on arrival.

Previously, Kenya would not allow those without proof of vaccination entry and had issued a directive to the airlines not to board them.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) says these individuals will be required to register on the Chanjo platform and must have a negative Covid-19 certificate.

“Effective December 28, 2021, there exists a temporary variation on proof of vaccination for all Kenyans arriving into the country for the next seven days on the condition that the individuals register for vaccination on the Chanjo–Ke platform and a valid negative PCR Covid-19 test certificate taken within 72 hours of flight and presented at the port of entry. The individuals will receive inoculations on arrival,” said KCAA.

In the latest update, all passengers with flu-like symptoms at the point of entry, or those who develop clinical symptoms within 14 days of arrival shall be placed into quarantine and be tested for Covid-19 at a government testing facility.

Passengers travelling out of Kenya will also require a Covid-19 jab certificate.

“Any person who tests positive on antigen RDT at any point of entry will be isolated at a Ministry of Health designated facility or at home for returning Kenyans and residents for ten days at the travellers’ own cost. Further, they shall be subjected to a Covid-19 PCR test before discharge,” said KCAA.

In addition, they will be required to abide by the particular travel, health and COVID-19 related requirements of the destination country.

Pre-departure testing may be considered at the discretion of any of the airlines departing from or terminating in Kenya.

KCAA has also issued a requirement for passengers arriving from the Southern African countries to undergo a mandatory but free RTD test on arrival.

This will also affect passengers who transit through these countries, which include Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and eSwatini.

These are countries that have recently reported high cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, a move that saw European Union and countries in the Middle East suspend passengers from these nations. EU has so far lifted that ban.

The aviation regulator said that it will continue updating this list based on the evidence of the evolution of this variant globally.

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