Kenya Hits Out at UK Government Over Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

Kenya among 8 countries likely to be removed on UK's travel Red list. Other Countries include Oman, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Maldives, Turkey, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and British Prime minister Boris Johnson

Kenya has slammed the United Kingdom over its intention to add it to its red list travel ban, saying the decision “is particularly disturbing.

“Furthermore, and equally disturbing this unilateral decision does not reflect prevailing logic and scientific knowledge of the disease or the spread of the pandemic,” Kenya through its Foreign Affairs ministry adding that rather the decision seems to be motivated by a discriminatory policy against certain countries and peoples.”

The UK Government in a statement issued on Friday alleged that some travellers from Kenya have tested positive for the South African variant.

“Of the average of 550 people that travel from Kenya to the UK each week, a significant number are testing positive on Day 2. Nearly a third of those positive have been carrying the B.1.351 variant, which originated in South Africa,” the update said.

As a result, UK says from 4am on 9 April visitors who have been in or transited through Kenya in the previous 10 days cannot enter the UK.

In response, Kenya says its performance in managing, combating and containing the spread of Covid-19 has been singled out and lauded by many partners including the World Health Organisation as being exemplary and worthy of recognition and support.

“Sadly, however, Kenya continues to see, with deep regret that vaccine producing countries around the world have begun practising a form of vaccine nationalism, possessiveness and discrimination, coupled with a vaccine hoarding attitude that can only be described as a form of ‘vaccine apartheid’.”

“This vaccine apartheid coupled with the reckless calls for vaccine passports while not making the vaccine available to all nations widens existing inequalities and makes it near impossible for the world to win the war against the pandemic,” Kenya retorted.

Consequently, Kenya says in response to the UK’s unilateral restrictions of travel from the country, it has enforced its countermeasures.

One, all passengers originating from or transitioning through UK airports will be subject to mandatory 14-day isolation at a government-designated facility at their own cost upon entry into Kenya.

In addition, they will be subject to take two PCR Covid-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of their quarantine at their own cost.


However, cargo flights between the nations and Kenyan nationals resident in the UK or transiting through UK airports into Kenya are exempt from the restrictions.

The British High Commission in Kenya via its Twitter feed in response to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said “We will be factually updating our Travel Advice for those travelling to Kenya, in light of the statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”