Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: International flight ban extended April 6-May 6 to curb spread of COVID-19 in Kenya. Further restrictions likely.

This alert affects Kenya

This alert began 05 Apr 2020 14:39 GMT and is scheduled to expire 06 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
The government on April 5 extended the cancellation of all incoming international passenger flights through at least May 6 to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Only cargo flights will be allowed to operate, but aircrews must follow strict regulations. Exemptions will be made for international flights chartered to evacuate foreign nationals; however, operators must give authorities at least 72 hours notice.

The announcement updates existing measures, including:

  • An indefinite nationwide curfew from 1900-0500. Critical and essential service providers, including health workers, are exempt from the curfew.
  • The closure of Kenya's land border with Uganda since March 25. The closure applies to all pedestrians and vehicles, excluding cargo trucks.
  • Mass testing for international arrivals since March 22.
  • All individuals who have entered Kenya since March 22 must undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense. Foreign nationals who are currently under self-isolation may break quarantine only if they are asymptomatic.
  • Authorities have also ordered shops and transportation companies to undertake measures to keep people 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart. Random screening in public spaces.


Travelers should observe the guidelines of the respective diplomatic missions and local officials and monitor local media for updates.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Kenyan authorities correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int

Ministry of Health: www.health.go.ke

Kenyan Airways: www.kenya-airways.com