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Kenya, UK to set up joint committee to evaluate travel advisory

BUSINESS
By Betty Njeru | April 7th 2021

Kenya and the United Kingdom (UK) have agreed to establish a joint committee to address travel restrictions between the two countries.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo (pictured) held deliberations on Wednesday with UK’s Dominic Raab, where they agreed to come up with solutions to the impasse.

“CS Omamo and Dominic Raab underlined the need to work on strengthening trade and deepening regional security,” Foreign Affairs Ministry tweeted.

Visitors from four countries: Kenya, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are to be denied entry into the UK beginning April 9.

This follows a travel advisory issued by the British High Commission last week stating that they have been added to the country’s red-list due to concerns of new Covid-19 variants. 

“From 4am on Friday April 9, international visitors who have departed from or transited through the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England,” the UK said.

In retaliation, Kenya responded to the UK in a strongly-worded statement, terming the decision as ‘discriminatory’.

Kenya issued a travel advisory for visitors coming into the country from the United Kingdom, coupled with a set of conditions.

Some of which included:

1. All passengers coming to Kenya from the UK must have a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate and a Covid-19 negative PCR test and must self-isolate on arrival for a period of seven days.

2. All UK citizens and residents travelling to Kenya from the UK, irrespective of their route of travel to Kenya and who do not have a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate, but who must nonetheless have a valid Covid-19 negative PCR test certificate, shall be subject to 14 days mandatory quarantine on arrival at a government facility at their own cost.

3. All United Kingdom government officials and diplomats carrying official government travel documentation must have a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate and a valid Covid-19 negative PCR test certificate to enter Kenya.

Following the directive, the national carrier Kenya Airways suspended flights between Kenya and UK effective April 9 at midnight.

KQ further scheduled two repatriation flights to bring Kenyan citizens and other passengers home before the travel ban begins.

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