President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced the resumption of international flights from August 1 as well as the lifting of intercounty travel restrictions.
In a televised address Kenyatta said, “international air travel into and out of the territory of Kenya shall resume effective 1 August 2020.”
He also announced the resumption of local air travel effective Wednesday, 15th July 2020 in strict conformity with all applicable guidelines and protocols from both the Ministry of Health and civil aviation authorities.
A few ago, Kenyatta told the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) Leaders Forum that this would be achieved through the lifting of restrictions on intercounty movement.
The cessation of the movement took effect on April 7 after Covid-19 cases soared, banned movement in and out of Nairobi and its environs, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties.
During the period, only persons who were classified as essential service providers were allowed to move.
“Conscious that movement of people is a catalyst for the spread of the disease, there shall be no movement of public transport vehicles into and out of the areas previously under cessation of movement restrictions, without the public transport providers being compliant with all protocols developed by the Ministry of Health,” President Kenyatta said.
However, he directed that the nationwide curfew that is currently in force between the hours of 9pm and 4am daily, be extended by a further 30 days.
Locally, Kenya’s Jambojet has introduced safety protocols for flight resumption to ensure its passengers and crew are protected from contracting the novel COVID-19 during travel.
In addition, with the resumption of local flights and travel, it is hoped it will revive an ailing hospitality sector. The sector was adversely affected by recording a negative growth rate of 9.3 percent from 11 percent growth in Q1, 2019 according to the statistics data.
The Tourism Ministry has reduced the fees by 50 percent for both locals and foreigners to rescue the sector.
In addition, it received the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travel Stamp in recognition of the destination’s adoption of the global health and hygiene standardized protocols dubbed ‘Safe Travels’.