Kenya will resume domestic flights in July according to President Uhuru Kenyatta who spoke during a four days Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) Leaders Forum on Friday.
The President said this will be through the lifting of the lockdown in Nairobi and Coastal counties.
“First and foremost, just to answer the question on KQ (Kenya Airways). We are going to be starting domestic flights and this is what we are going to use as our trial over the, let’s say the next couple of days. Because we are opening up the lockdown that we’ve had between, inter-county lockdown. And ultimately I think that’s what’s going to set the pace for getting a day for us to open up now once again to international flights,” said President Kenyatta in response to Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a Senior Vice President at Albright Stonebridge.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure we are back in the skies,” said President Kenyatta.
Ambassador Linda had sought to know when the country would resume flights.
President Kenyatta added that “We have seen that if you don’t take the necessary precautions. If you don’t put in place the necessary measures, opening up too quickly also has its downside as we have seen in different parts of the world. So we are very eager to open up, but at the same time, we are also eager to make sure that we all stay safe, and we all stay healthy and we save lives.”
CCA is an American business association established in 1993 and whose objective is to promote business and investment between the US and Africa.
The virtual meeting was convened by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who is also the current AU Chairperson and attended by members of the AU Bureau as well as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed and Sudan PM Abdalla Hamdok.
June 6, the Kenyatta ordered a further 30-day extension of the country’s nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew together with the cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa, and Mandera by an additional 30 days.
In addition, adhering to advice from the National Security Council he also extended international travel restrictions as a result of the ‘evolving nature of the disease globally’. The ban was first initiated on Wednesday, March 25th.
During the period, the Ministry of Transport was directed to engage Key Stakeholders and develop protocols to guide resumption of local air travel.
Kenya’s Jambojet announced the introduction of safety protocols for flight resumption to ensure its passengers and crew are protected from contracting the novel COVID-19 during travel.
What it will take to lift the inter-county lockdown
On 25 June, President Kenyatta told Governors that the decision to re-open the country’s economy will be informed by the level of preparedness by the devolved units to respond to Covid-19 infections.
“I say this because the nation is the sum total of all the 47 counties. If the counties have met the necessary thresholds, then the nation will be ready to re-open,” he said.
However, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said Covid-19 infections in the country were on the rise and advised against the re-opening of the economy before the response preparedness threshold agreed upon is fully met.
On Sunday, June 28, out of 2,718 samples tested, 259 people tested positive for the virus. The cumulative number of tests conducted so far is 165,196, and the total caseload in the country is 6,070.
35 patients were discharged bringing the cumulative tally of recoveries at 1,971. Two more patients succumbed to the disease, taking the number of fatalities to 143.