Critical Alert

Authorities in Kenya maintain nationwide restrictions as of Oct. 30. International flights ongoing. Additional measures possible.


As of Oct. 30, authorities in Kenya have maintained several restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A nationwide nightly curfew remains in place through at least late November; however, authorities have revised the curfew time to 2300-0400. Authorities also lifted the ban on the sale of alcohol in restaurants and bars. Funeral and wedding ceremonies are allowed a maximum of 200 persons. The closure time for restaurants and eateries is 2200.

Other measures that remain in place include:

  • International maritime and other water travel is prohibited. Cargo transport continues to operate.
  • Religious services may take place; however, classes at churches and madrassas remain suspended until further notice.
  • Protective face coverings must be worn in public areas, including in private vehicles and while using public transportation.

International commercial passenger flights resumed Aug. 1. Passengers must produce a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, taken up to 96 hours before arrival. In addition, passengers must not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. Passengers may still face a requirement to quarantine and will stay at government-designated facilities or at their home for 14 days, depending on the Kenyan authority's assessment. The Kenya-Uganda, Kenya-Somalia, and Kenya-Tanzania borders reopened Aug. 1.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice, depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.


Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Kenyan authorities are similar to those actions taken by other governments globally 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.


Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements, including required in-country quarantine requirement before travel. 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.


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