Kenya slams UK over travel ban, retaliates with strict measures
Kenya condemned Britain after London added the east African country to its coronavirus travel ‘red list’, and Nairobi retaliated by imposing strict measures on travelers from the UK to Kenya.
In a strongly-worded statement on Saturday, Kenya’s foreign affairs ministry said the decision was ‘discriminatory’ and lacked ‘logic and scientific knowledge of the disease or the spread of the pandemic’.
On Friday, the UK announced new travel restrictions against travelers from Kenya saying the South African coronavirus variant was spreading rapidly in the country.
The decision means that Kenyans or anybody transiting through Kenyan airports is banned from entering the UK starting on April 9.
On Sunday, Nairobi responded with its own measures, banning passenger flights originating or transiting through UK airports for a month.
In addition, passengers from the UK will
be required to produce negative Covid-19 certificates and valid Covid-19
Only cargo flights are exempt from the ban. But crew members will be required to present both a vaccination certificate and a negative PCR certificate. The measures take effect on April 9.
Kenya Airways, the country’s flag carrier scheduled two repatriation flights to carry nationals and other passengers home before the measures kick in.
“The UK will not accept foreign nationals traveling from/via Kenya to the UK…..Due to the increased demand for travel to the UK before the advisory takes effect, we have added 2 new flights on 4th and 8th April,” the company said in a statement.
Kenya last week placed its capital Nairobi and four other counties under a new lockdown following an uptick in cases.