Great relief as UK removes Kenya from travel ban list


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Great relief as UK removes Kenya from travel ban list


Unused check-in desks at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 in West London on September 9, 2019. PHOTO | AFP

Travelers from Kenya will be allowed to enter the UK starting next week after the UK revamped its Covid-19 travel list to reinvigorate tourism, which is currently in its peak season.

Britain has moved Kenya along with seven other countries – Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Oman and Bangladesh – from its Red List to Amber.

Travelers entering the UK from Red List countries will be refused entry, while returning Brits will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine in hotels. UK nationals are not permitted to travel to these countries.

Kenya was redlisted in April after the highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant spread across the country, dealt a blow to the tourism sector.

The revision, announced on Friday by British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, provides a boost for the Kenyan hospitality industry, whose tourist season traditionally peaks from July to September, coinciding with the country’s dry season and the world-famous migration of wildebeest and zebras through the Maasai Mara game reserve.

Kenya is a popular tourist destination for the British, with the UK ranking fourth in 2019 for fourth largest arrivals via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Following the announcement, UK High Commissioner for Kenya, Ms. Jane Marriott, said: “Kenya is not on the red list. I know how difficult this was, but our partnership between Kenya and the UK remains strong. Thank you, the Kenyan government, for working closely with us over the past few months. The fight against Covid-19 is not over yet, from vaccines to genome sequencing – we will continue to work together to defeat the pandemic. “

The UK has divided countries into green, yellow and red lists, each with different restrictions on returning to the UK.

People coming from countries on the Amber List will be quarantined for 10 days at home or where they are staying and will be required to show three negative Covid tests – one before returning to the UK, one on the second day, and another on the eighth day.

People coming from countries on the Green List do not need to be in quarantine and have to show two negative Covid tests – one before returning to the UK and one on the second day.

The switch to the Amber List will take place on Wednesday, September 22nd, at 4 a.m.

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