UK to Remove Eight Countries Including Kenya From Red List

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

The United Kingdom on Friday announced that Kenya is among eight countries that will be removed from its red list, meaning passengers arriving in the country from these destinations will not have to quarantine.

The Department for Transport confirmed the eight countries coming off the red list as of 4 am on Wednesday are Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya.

“Today’s changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system. One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry,” Grant Shapps Transport Secretary said.

Later in October, travellers will be able to take a cheaper lateral flow test instead of the day 2 PCR test. 

“It is good news for business, tourism, students and their parents,” said Manoah Esipisu, Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK.

Kenya is now categorised as Amber, a lower rank than Red.

Travellers from Kenya were banned from entering the UK in April following the spread of the  Covid-19 Delta variant in the country.

“I know how this has been difficult but our Kenya-UK partnership remains strong. The fight against Covid-19 is still not over, from vaccines to genomic sequencing – we will continue to work together to beat the pandemic,” said Jane Marriott, UK High Commissioner to Kenya.

In Kenya, 3,290,450 vaccine doses have been administered by the close of business Sept. 17 with 2,439,528 having received the first doses. 850,922 persons representing 3.1 per cent of the country’s entire adult population have so far been fully vaccinated.

According to the Ministry of Health, six Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use are recommended by the World Health Organisation,  four are available in Kenya – Astra Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer.

“The government is targeting to increase daily vaccination rates to 150,000 by December this year. Vaccination posts will also be increased from 800 to 3,000 by December with the number rising to 7,877 by June next year,” the Ministry said Friday.

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