Covid-19: Kenya lifts travel restrictions in Nairobi, other cities

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced that an order that that entry into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties would be lifted on Tuesday at 4 am.

Mombasa is Kenya’s coastal town which is a port city and a major tourism hub, while Mandera is in the north eastern part of the country, near Somalia.

 

Kenyatta, during a televised address however, extended the nationwide curfew by a further 30 days.

 

"By re-opening Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera, we are more at risk than we were when the restrictions were in place. We must, therefore, exercise cautious optimism, and avoid reckless abandon," he said.

 

A caveat, however, is that the State may move to reverse reopening if Covid-19 trends become worrying.

"Should the situation deteriorate and pose a challenge to our health infrastructure, it shall be ‘clawed back’.  In the next 21 days, we shall study patterns of interactions and the spread of the disease.  Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to the lock-down at zero-option."

Places of worship will also commence phased reopening in strict conformity with all applicable guidelines. However, he noted that no congregants under 13 or over 58 years should be allowed.

Those with underlying health conditions have also been cautioned against congregating to worship.

"In line with the guidelines issued by the Inter-Faith Council, only a maximum of a 100 participants will be allowed at each worship ceremony and not be more than one hour," Kenyatta said in his address to the nation.

Sunday Schools and Madrassas will remain suspended until further notice.

In what will be a relief to aviation industry players and workers, local air travel shall resume July 15 under Ministry of Health and Transport guidelines.

International travel on the other hand will resume August 1.

On the roads, public service vehicle operators will require certification from the Ministry of Health to operate out of areas previously under cessation of movement.

"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 Ministry of Health," Kenyatta said.

 

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