The consequences of the coronavirus have also been severe in Kenya. The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus has, among other things, led to a temporary travel ban. This includes travellers that had already received a visa. On this page you can find the current state of affairs surrounding travelling to Kenya during and after the coronavirus crisis. Last update: 07-01-2021.
What is the situation surrounding the coronavirus in Kenya?
As of the moment of writing (07-12-2021), Kenya has reported 97,398 official cases of coronavirus infections. Of those, 1,694 people died as a result of the coronavirus. Although the number of infections in Kenya remained relatively low at first, it has quickly risen in the last few weeks. The Kenyan government has therefore taken drastic measures to stop the spread of the virus. These include:
- A curfew, between 23:00 and 04:00 until 12 March
- Bars and restaurants are closed after 21.00
- Masks are mandatory in public areas
- A ban on the usage of more than 50% of the seats in transportation vehicles
Can I currently apply for a visa for a trip to Kenya?
Kenya's travel ban for foreign travellers has been lifted. This means that it is possible to apply for a visa for Kenya for a holiday or business trip. Applications are on average approved in 8 days, similar to how they were before the coronavirus crisis.
The coronavirus (Covid-19) in Kenya has led to a temporary travel ban, which has since been lifted.
When can I travel to Kenya again?
Starting 1 August 2020, international flights to Kenya are resumed. However, there are strict requirements for travelling to Kenya. Travellers arriving in Kenya must carry a PCR test with them which was taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure, even if they are only making a stopover in Kenya and do not leave the airport. Travellers cannot have a body temperature above 37,5° C, and there can be no cases of persistent coughing, respiratory problems or other flue-like symptoms. Before departure, travellers must fill in a Travellers Health Surveillance Form on the website of the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority. After submitting this form, the traveller receives an e-mail with a QR code which is scanned on arrival by a customs employee.
On arrival, travellers from certain countries must spend 14 days in quarantine. Travellers from countries of which the Kenyan government believes that the risk of spreading of the coronavirus is low to average do not need to go into quarantine. This includes travellers from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium and The Netherlands - provided they can present a negative PCR test and do not show coronavirus symptoms. Each day, the Kenyan Health Department makes a new assessment of the risk profile of these countries. Keep in mind that the quarantine mandate can change on a daily basis. Travellers that show coronavirus symptoms on arrival, or were seated in the two rows behind a passenger with symptoms on the plane, must spend 14 days in quarantine.
Also keep a close eye on the travel advice of the government. Currently, it is not advised to travel to Kenya due to the coronavirus. When this advice will change is not yet known.
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Can and/or should I return to the UK?
The Kenyan immigration service lifted the amnesty for travellers that stayed in the country for longer than the permitted 6 months. Starting 14 September 2020, travellers that stayed in Kenya for longer than permitted must leave the country within two weeks, or have applied for a residence permit.
In order to return to the UK from Kenya, a negative PCR test result is required. This test must have been administered at maximum 3 days before your arrival in the UK. Travellers returning to the UK from Kenya are required to self-isolate for 10 days.
Where can I claim the financial damages of the coronavirus?
If your planned trip to Kenya cannot go through because of the coronavirus, you likely suffered financial damages. If your flight has been cancelled you can, depending on the airline, often receive a full refund of the cost of the flight ticket. Some airlines are currently working with vouchers, as the coronavirus has caused them so much damage that they are unable to pay everyone back. With a voucher, a different flight can be booked at a later stage.
Aside from an unused flight ticket, the coronavirus can also have resulted in financial drawbacks in a different way. Due to the coronavirus, any booked and prepaid for accommodations in Kenya cannot be visited. And you also might have applied for a Kenya visa which was issued, but which you cannot use due to the coronavirus. You might be able to claim these damages with your travel insurance. In any case, the government of Kenya will not reimburse any of these costs.
Disclaimer: this article has been put together with great care from available information. However, no guarantee can be given that it is at all times up to date and provides a complete and correct image of the current situation of the coronavirus in Kenya. Check with your airline if your flight will proceed before you apply for the Kenya visa.