Nairobi – Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia has said passengers and tourists arriving into Kenya from other countries will not be subjected to mandatory quarantine if they do not show any symptoms of COVID-19.
CS Macharia, speaking during a press briefing at Transcom house in Nairobi, said this is aimed at encouraging tourism in order to boost the sector which took a deep dive when the pandemic struck the country in March this year.
According to the CS, one will only be quarantine if they show such signs as body temperatures above 37.5 degree Celsius, a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing and other flu-like symptoms.
CS Macharia added that in cases where there is a suspected case of the coronavirus, crew members shall be quarantined at home while those within two rows of the passenger with symptoms shall be tested.
“Where there is a suspected case of COVID-19 on the flight, the crew shall be quarantined at home. If they test negative for COVID-19, they shall be allowed to resume normal duties. Where layovers are necessary, crew members shall not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms, except in cases of emergency,” he said.
“All passengers shall be exempt from quarantine on arrival at their destinations if their body temperature is not above 37.5 degree Celsius and they do not have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing and other flu-like symptoms. This is important because we do not expect a tourist to come from wherever they land here and then they are quarantined for 14 days.”
He added: “When there is a suspected case of COVID-19 on the flight or if the symptoms are detected, the passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms shall be tested. If they test negative, they shall be allowed to leave the airport. If they test positive, they shall be quarantined in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines.”
CS Macharia, while reiterating President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive that air transport will resume on July 15, 2020, said only 5 airlines have so far confirmed that they will begin operations then.
“A number of airlines have confirmed that they will resume providing local air passenger transport services to various destinations across Kenya once the airspace is opened on July 15,” he stated.
“These airlines include Kenya Airways, Jambojet, Aim Air, Boskovic Air, and Scenic Safaris. We shall get a lot more airlines coming forward because this is something Kenyans have been looking forward to.”