International flights and COVID measures in Kenya
Airplanes in the sky - International flights and COVID measures in Kenya after lifting travel ban

Though international flights are to resume in 2 days, there is still no detailed official information available about the conditions of entering Kenya after travel bans are lifted. Based on official and non-official sources we compiled the currently available information on the current COVID measures in Kenya and traveling to the country.

The information is valid as of July 30. However the situation can change any time, so before booking and boarding on your flight, please contact the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate for up-to-date information.

 

International flights to Kenya resume from August 1

As Kenya reopens its economy after restrictions and lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, international travel restrictions are also eased and international flights will resume from Aug 1, 2020 as follows:

IMPORTANT UPDATE!
On July 30, Transport CS James Macharia announced that flights from the following countries are allowed for a start: China, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Rwanda, Uganda, Namibia and Morocco. The list is to be reviewed and updated daily. According to Mr Macharia these countries have mild or limited community transmission or have declined incidences of the virus.
The below information – regarding flights – should be considered accordingly.

Nairobi – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

  • British Airways: 4 flights per week – Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday – from London
  • KLM: 5 flights per week – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – from Amsterdam
  • Air France: via Amsterdam with KLM (same days as KLM)
  • Turkish: 3 flights per week – Saturday, Monday, Wednesday
  • Qatar Airways: daily flights (from Aug 3)
  • Emirates: 3 flights a week – Wednesday, Friday, Sunday – from Dubai (from Aug 2)
  • Ethiopian Airlines: twice a day from Addis Ababa

Mombasa – Moi International Airport

  • KLM: 5 weekly flights via Nairobi incorporation with Kenya Airways (KQ)
  • Air France: via Amsterdam with KLM and via Nairobi with KQ (same days as KLM) 
  • Qatar Airways: daily flights via Nairobi incorporation with Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways

KQ resumes its international flights to 27 destinations, e.g. London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dubai, Mumbai, Addis Ababa, Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Kigali, Kinshasa, Free Town. Flights to Mombasa and Kisumu (from Nairobi) are also available.

Domestic flights

Domestic flights – from Nairobi to Mombasa, Kisumu, Malindi, Ukunda –  are also operating (Kenya Airways, Fly540, Jambojet).

 

Special COVID measures are in place at the airport for arriving passengers

Rules and conditions are still not very clear. However, according to non-official information, the following COVID measures are in place in Kenya for international passengers:

  1. Passenger Local Card (PLC): for contact tracing purposes you shall provide your full name, nationality, passport or ID number, phone number, phone number of your next of kin, and allocated seat. The PLC is to be filled on board the aircraft.
  2. Thermal screening at the airport: temperature screening – with Thermal Scanners or Thermal Guns – takes place upon arrival to identify passengers with and above body temperature of 37.5 °C (99.5 °F)
  3. Quarantine procedures: no quarantine obligation upon entering the country if your body temperature is below 37.5 37.5 °C (99.5 °F), you do not have COVID-19 like symptoms and can provide a COVID-19 negative certificate that is not older than 96 hours. However, if there are any reported cases or COVID-like symptoms in the aircraft, passengers within 2 rows of the passenger with symptoms shall be quarantined for testing. They can leave the quarantine facility after being tested negative.

 

Other COVID measures in Kenya that can affect international visitors

  1. Wearing masks: masks have to be worn in all public places including streets, shops, public transport, etc.
  2. Curfew: curfew rules are in effect in Kenya – no moving around between 9.00 p.m. and 4.00 a.m. However, international passengers are exempted from curfew restrictions upon arriving and leaving if they can present their flight ticket.
  3. Public transport: passengers getting in any public transport means have to wear a mask during the whole journey and they should wash/sanitize their hands. Coaches, buses and matatus operate with less passenger to provide social distancing. Tuktuks and piki pikis (boda bodas) can carry only 1 passenger at a time. There is no restriction on the number of passengers for taxis, however, masks have to worn in taxis too.
  4. Shops and markets: are in operation, but there are special measures In place e.g. wearing masks, screening body temperature, and washing/sanitizing hands when entering.
  5. Restaurants: are open with special measures regarding sanitization and social distancing. No alcohol can be sold.
  6. Bars and alcohol: bars are closed and cannot sell alcohol. Alcohol however still can be purchased in special shops and hotels.
  7. Gathering: all public and private gathering with more than 15 people are banned.
  8. Churches and mosques: are open but have to comply with special regulations (e.g. masks and social distancing).
  9. Schools: are closed till – at least – January 2021, so visiting schools or kindergartens is not possible.

 

Note:

The above information is valid as of July 30. For up to date information please check with the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate.

Despite the opening, the number of daily cases in Kenya is gradually increasing. As a result, the above-described situation can change and restrictive measures can be reintroduced at any time.

The next scheduled review of the measures is expected within 30 days (i.e. on Aug 26).

Personal opinion: most probably there will not be any changes before Aug 26, 2020, however, there is always a risk of special or sudden measures in case the COVID situation in the country significantly deteriorates.

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