International flights have resumed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.
The first flights will be to London, Dubai, Addis Ababa, Kigali and Lusaka.
This comes after the Ministry of Transport cleared seven more countries for the resumption of international flights to Kenya.
The seven are United States of America (except for California, Florida and Texas), United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Quarter, United Arab Emirates and Italy.
List of countries identified and announced on Thursday from which travellers will be exempt from quarantine include China, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Zimbabwe Ethiopia, Switzerland, Rwanda, Uganda, Namibia and Morocco.
“The United States is one of 18 countries whose nationals will be exempt from quarantine upon arrival,” read a statement by the United States Embassy.
Conditions were however given for being exempt from quarantine, this include:
- The passenger does not have a body temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F);
- The passenger does not have a persistent cough, difficulty breathing or other flu-like symptoms;
- The passenger has a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test conducted within 96 hours before travel.
U.S. citizen travellers coming from California, Florida and Texas will however not be exempt and will be required to quarantine upon arrival either at Government of Kenya-designated facility or at their Kenyan residence.
In another statement Friday, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said a review of countries from which travellers will not be required to be quarantined upon arrival will be undertaken by Ministry of Health on day to day basis and then they will advise the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Urban Development and Housing for further action.
The Ministry of Transport together with relevant stakeholders have prepared Protocols for Air Travel Operations during the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis.
The protocols seek to provide guidelines to ensure that air travel remains safe during the pandemic for domestic and international flights.
The protocols recognize that the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been experienced in most sectors of the economy and the aviation industry is amongst the worst impacted.
The protocols have therefore confirmed that:-
- All arriving passengers on international flights whose body temperature is NOT above 37.5° C (99.5°F); do NOT have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing or other flu-like symptoms; have negative PCR based COVID – 19 test carried out within 96 hours before travel and are from countries considered low to medium risk COVID – 19 transmission areas shall be exempt from quarantine.
- For those passengers travelling out of the country, they will be required to abide by the particular travel, health and COVID-19 related requirements of the destination country;
- Passengers arriving on flights after the curfew, with a valid Air Ticket and Boarding Pass shall be allowed to proceed to their hotels and/or residences;
- Drivers should have evidence that they have come from the Airport to drop or pick up passengers;
- Passengers departing on flights after the curfew, with a valid Air Ticket and Boarding Pass shall be allowed to proceed to their departure airport;
- Air Operators shall provide guidance material to passengers regarding the application of the preventive measures on board;
- Where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed because of the seat configuration or other operational constraints, the crew members will make constant on-board announcements reminding passengers to adhere at all times to all the other preventive measures including strict hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and should wear a surgical face mask. In addition and in such cases other measures such as cabin recirculation air filters will be put in place; and
- Working jointly with Airports Authority and Kenya Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works is reviewing frequency and timing of flights to facilitate physical distancing at the Airports.