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Kenyan Government Fights Back Over UK Travel Ban

The British government has now added Kenya to its travel ban list starting April 4th.

The Department for Transport said Friday the number of countries on its “red list” will reach 39 when the latest restrictions take effect in England beginning April 9. The other nations of the U.K. — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — have similar lists.

Only British nationals, Irish nationals, and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK will be permitted to travel to the UK.

British nationals, Irish nationals, and third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK who have departed from or transited Kenya within the 10 days prior to their arrival in the UK will be required to quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved managed quarantine facility.

It will continue to be mandatory for all passengers arriving in the UK to take a test on days 2 and 8 of their 10-day quarantine period.

Under the travel bans, international visitors who have departed from or traveled through red-list countries in the preceding 10 days are refused entry into England. Countries on the list include Brazil and South Africa, where two of the most concerning virus variants have been identified.

The measures are aimed at reducing the risk posed by new virus variants into the U.K., which has recorded Europe’s highest COVID-related death toll, with over 126,500 deaths.

The government statement read;

“As the esteemed Ministry will be aware, travellers from all countries are required to take COVID-19 tests on Days 2 and 8 following their arrival in the UK. 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 statement read.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government has faced questions in recent days as to why France, which is suffering one of the worst outbreaks in Europe, is not on the list. Yet putting France on the red list could have serious implications for trade flows in and out of the U.K., given its reliance on traffic from cross-Channel ports.

The U.K. transport department said the majority of cases of the South African variant detected in England so far were linked to international travel and that very few are thought to have come from Europe.

The U.K. has seen new coronavirus infections and deaths fall sharply since the winter amid a strict 3-month lockdown and a rapid rollout of coronavirus vaccines. The U.K. has now given a first vaccine shot to over 31 million people, or around 46% of its population, a much higher rate than the rest of Europe.

The full list of countries currently on the UK’s red list include:

Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Guyana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe

In a strongly-worded statement on Saturday, Kenya’s foreign affairs ministry said the decision was ‘discriminatory’ and lacked ‘logic and scientific knowledge of the disease or the spread of the pandemic’.


On Sunday, Nairobi responded with its own measures, banning passenger flights originating or transiting through UK airports for a month.

In addition, passengers from the UK will be required to produce negative Covid-19 certificates and valid Covid-19 vaccine certifications.

Only cargo flights are exempt from the ban. But crew members will be required to present both a vaccination certificate and a negative PCR certificate. The measures take effect on April 9.

Kenya Airways, the country’s flag carrier scheduled two repatriation flights to carry nationals and other passengers home before the measures kick in.

This ban is ridduled in speculation as;

Kenya has so far registered 138,988 coronavirus cases. The UK has logged 4,360,000 cases.

Also in January, British soldiers arriving for their training mission were accused of bringing the UK strain of the coronavirus to Kenya.

The soldiers reportedly did not quarantine on arrival in the East African country.

The Real Threat of Covid

Kenya so far administered over 31 million dosesand has received just over a million Astra Zeneca vaccine doses from COVAX.



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    Adeola is a world traveller and influencer focusing her area of travel on the continent of Africa, being her passion at her core. The aspiring writer wants to use her story to educate those about what different African countries are really like through the gaze of a first-generation British Nigerian. Her solo travels through the continent aim to inspire others giving not only her stories but useful facts about each country.

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