We are protecting African markets, UK says on red listing

The travel ban comes into effect today( April 9), effectively restricting Kenyans or anybody transiting through Kenyan airports from setting foot in the UK.

British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights (including long-term visa holders) arriving from red listed countries are allowed, but will be required to self-isolate (quarantine) in a government-approved hotel facility for 10 days.

It had however not imposed any restrictions on its citizens until Kenya, on Saturday, retaliated by banning visitors from the UK.

The two countries have restricting commercial passenger flights from landing in their territories.

“All UK government officials and diplomats must have a valid Covid-19 vaccination certificate and a valid Covid-19 negative PCR test certificate to enter Kenya,” Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said, with strict quarantine measures in place at the cost of the passenger.

National carrier–Kenya Airways has since suspended flights to the UK effective Friday, April 9, 2021.

“The suspension is due to the directive issued by the government of Kenya suspending all the flights from the UK effective midnight April 9, 2021,” KQ management said.

There has been a rage between the two countries this week, with tourism stakeholders raising concerns it will affect post-Covid recovery for the sector.

Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers chief executive Mike Macharia said: “It will affect tourism since most travelers plan in advance. By UK including Kenya in the ‘Red List’, all hopes of a summer restart of UK tourists were dashed. We hope this will be resolved soon.

Kenya Tourism Federation chairman, Mohammed Hersi, noted:“This is highly regrettable and we hope that both UK and Kenya are able to sit and agree on way forward.”

Traders and Kenya’s agricultural sector players are also worried the restrictions will affect business between the two countries, with UK being a key export market for Kenya’s fresh produces.


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