The United States has downgraded Kenya’s travel advisory to Level Two, down from Level Four, allowing Americans citizens to travel into the country but under caution.
Under the Level 4 classification, Washington had urged its citizens not to travel to Kenya after the American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) raised alarm over a spike in Covid-19 cases.
Now, the fresh advisory published on June 8 by the US State Department cautions travelers coming to Kenya to still “beware of crime, terrorism, health issues and kidnapping.” The country has further warned its citizens to desist from travelling to the Kenya-Somalia border and some coastal areas due to terrorism.
The update comes as a huge relief to tourism stakeholders as it raises their hope for more international visitors this year, many of who had avoided travelling to Kenya since the onset of Covid-19 in the country last year.
The move was welcomed by Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) chairperson Mohammed Hersi who said this is a win for the sector.
“Our hard work is certainly paying off. Happy to note that USA has removed Kenya from Level 4 to Level 2 which is a good move for travel and tourism trade. This is positive for tourism business,” said Mr Hersi in a tweet.
Earlier, the CDC had cautioned even vaccinated travelers over risk of spreading Covid-19 variants in Kenya.
Kenya’s cases spiked in March, forcing president Uhuru Kenyatta to declare a lockdown on Nairobi and four other neighbouring counties.
This restricted movement of people, including tourists, meant that those who wanted to travel to other parts of the country including the Coast region could not do so.
However, the lockdown has since been lifted after a reduction in the number of Covid-19 cases.