The Ministry of Transport has Saturday defended its stance in the Tanzania- Kenya airspace row.
CS Macharia in a press brief clarified the issue saying that Kenya had not banned any country from entering into Kenya and that the airspace was open to all.
CS Macharia, however, said that some countries which include Tanzania will be placed into quarantine once they touch down into the country.
“The Ministry of Transport came up with these protocols based on a risk assessment that was carried out, the list of countries to quarantine upon arrival will keep being updated,” he said.
The transport minister also said that a total of 19 countries were exempt from the quarantine list.
The countries include China, Morocco, Canada, South Korea, Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda, Japan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar, United Arabs Emirates, Italy and United States of America (except for California, Florida and Texas).
During the clarification, CS Macharia said that he and his Tanzanian transport counterpart had come to an understanding and that his ministry would give a statement on the same in due time.
Conditions were however given for being exempt from quarantine, this include:
- 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.
This clarification comes shortly after Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority Director General Hamza Johari said that a decision had been made to revoke KQ’s clearance into Tanzania.
He said that Tanzania had noted its exclusion in the list of countries whose people will be allowed to travel into Kenya effective Saturday when international flights resume in Kenya.
“The Authority regrets to inform you that, on a reciprocal basis, the Tanzanian Government has decided to nullify its approval for Kenya Airways flights between Nairobi and Dar/Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar effective August 1, 2020, until further notice,” the letter said.
Johari added that the letter rescinds all previous arrangements that permit KQ flights into Tanzania including a letter dated July 30, 2020.