BY BMJ MURIITHI
The Kenyan government has given tourists seeking to travel back to their home countries via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi until Monday noon (March 29th) to do so.
This applies to both domestic and international tourists, who are currently in different parts of the country, following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order for cessation of movement into and out of the zoned area covering the counties of Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos, and Kajiado, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This is according to a joint statement issued Saturday by the Tourism Ministry, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and Kenya Railways.
“Further, the government’s order also states that domestic flights will cease operating on March 29th,” noted the statement.
This, in essence, means that those on transit in Kenya and who are planning to visit sites outside Nairobi could risk being confined in the capital, unless they posses a special pass to show that they were performing essential duties.
Despite the tough travel rules, international travelers can still get in and out of Nairobi. Those arriving in the country from Monday will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 certificate obtained 96 hours before arrival while those leaving the country are expected to follow the requirements as spelt out by their respective airlines.
On Friday, Kenyatta announced reviewed Coronavirus measures, 14 days after his last speech on the COVID-19.
Besides the announcing the cessation of all movement into and out of a zoned area of five counties: Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, Nakuru, he also laid out a set of new measures aimed at averting a national health crisis, which also involved suspension of nationwide physical learning in all institutions others than for students sitting the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations (KCSE) and those in medical training institutions.
Curfew hours have also been revised to 8pm-4am in the zoned areas, but shall remain from 10pm-4am in the other parts of the country, effective curfew time on Sunday.
The East African nation saw its virus positivity rate jump to 19% from 2.6% at the beginning of the year. Confirmed cases stand at 126,170 and 2,092 fatalities as of March 25, according to the health ministry.