Kenya allows resumption of international travel

Kenya Airways planes seen at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Saturday 1 August 2020. /Robert Nagila

Kenya on Saturday allowed international flights to land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as others departed out of the country, some four months after the government banned unessential foreign travel in efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The resumption of flights comes as the country has seen a steady rise in new daily infections over the last month, pushing its case load beyond the 20,000 mark.

The East African country is one of only seven African countries that have hit the figure.

Various health protocols have been put in place in efforts t ensure the safety of passengers and crew, including a requirement to produce a negative COVID-19 test result, the wearig of face masks and social distancing in the airport premises.

As international flights landed and flew out of the JKIA, the Kenyan government denounced reports that it had strained relations with neighbouring Tanzania by denying Tanzania Air rights to fly into the country.

“I want to make it clear that the relationship between Kenya and Tanzania is immutable, is indispensable, it is something that is permanent with us,” said Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba.

Domestic flights in Kenya had resumed on 15 July after the government relaxed lockdown measures that have been in place since end March.