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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,2ND APRIL,2021-Kenya will be included in the COVID-19 travel ban red list on April 9, the British High Commission has said.
The commission said visitors who have been in or transited through Kenya in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England.
“British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights arriving from these countries will be required to quarantine in a Government-approved facility for 10 days,” the statement reads.
Bangladesh, Pakistan and Philippines will also be added to the red list travel ban.
In a letter to the Kenyan Foreign Ministry, the British High Commission said the difficult decision was taken by UK Ministers on March 31 following a review of the latest scientific evidence pertaining to the risk of community transmission of COVID- 19 variants.
“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 testing positive have been carrying the B.1.351 variant, which originated in South Africa,” the letter reads.
Envoys and their families not required to quarantine
The commission however noted that members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the UK, officers, servants or representatives of international organisations, representative at an international or UK conference granted privileges and immunities, and their families or dependents, will not be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel.
“They will be asked to self-isolate in the place they will be staying in the UK for 10 days following arrival, as at present,” the commission said, adding that it is the UK government’s intention to maintain direct flights in light of the critical importance of ensuring trade and commercial links between the UK and Kenya.
The letter indicated that the latest restrictions are temporary measures that will be kept under review and will only remain in place whilst the level of risk is assessed to justify these measures.
Kenya’s latest COVID-19 statistics indicate a positivity rate of 18.5%. The country’s caseload is 135,042 out of 1,494,77 cumulative tests carried out so far.
The death toll as a result of the virus hit 2,167 on Thursday after 14 new fatalities were reported.