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 who 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: 08-07-2021.
What is the coronavirus situation in Kenya?
At the time of writing (08-07-2021), 186,959 COVID-19 infections have been officially reported in Kenya. Of these, 3,705 persons have died from the coronavirus. To date, 1,495,120 doses of vaccines have been set in Kenya, which, with a population of 52.57 million, means that about 2.8% of the population has been vaccinated.
The number of infections in Kenya quickly started to rise from March 2021, especially in the districts Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kajiado, Mombasa and Kisumu. However, infection numbers have been steadily declining since mid-May. New infections have been registered in western Kenya, mainly with the more contagious delta variant. On 11 June, the suspension on passenger flights between Kenya and the United Kingdom was lifted. The Kenyan government has, however, taken drastic measures to stop the spread of the virus. These include:
- A curfew between 22:00 and 04:00, in western Kenya between 19:00 and 04:00.
- 13 districts in Western Kenya have been designated high-risk areas. Travel to and from these districts is strongly discouraged. In these high-risk areas (hotspots), there is a curfew from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. and a ban on meetings - at least until 31 July.
- Bars and restaurants usually close around 19:00 or 20:30
- Masks are mandatory in public areas, cars and in public transportation
- A ban on the usage of more than 60% of the seats in cars and buses
Can I currently apply for a visa for a trip to Kenya?
Kenyaʼs 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?
International flights to Kenya have resumed since 1 August 2020. However, there are strict requirements for travelling to Kenya. Travellers older than 5 years 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.
This test result must be verified by the African Union’s Trusted Travel system before departure. Travellers can receive a Trusted Travel certificate by uploading their test result on the website of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. It is expected that tests that do not come from a laboratory certified by the Trusted Travel system will also be recognised.
Additionally, travellers cannot have a body temperature over 37.5° C, and there can be no cases of persistent coughing, respiratory problems or other flu-like symptoms. Before departure, travellers must fill in the Travelers Health Surveillance Form on the website of the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority. After submitting this form, the traveller receives a QR code which is scanned by a customs employee on arrival. On arrival, an app must be downloaded (Jitenge MoH Kenya). Through this app, the Kenyan government can request health updates. This app (Jitenge MoH Kenya) can also be downloaded before departure. This allows you to fill in the Travelers Health Surveillance Form in the app and receive the QR code.
Quarantine usually not mandatory
On arrival, travellers from certain countries - including Ireland - must spend 14 days in quarantine at a facility (hotel, etc.) which has been approved as a quarantine facility by the Kenyan government. Travellers from countries of which the Kenyan government believes that the risk of spreading the coronavirus is low to average do not need to go into quarantine. This includes travellers from Germany, France, Belgium and The Netherlands - provided they can present a negative PCR test and do not show coronavirus symptoms. Travellers from the United Kingdom must spend 7 days in self-isolation and must have a new PCR test taken 4 days after arrival. Additionally, they must provide daily health updates, including the results of the PCR test, in the Jitenge app.
Residents of countries that the Kenyan government considers to have a high risk profile must book accommodation 24 hours before departure at a place which is recognised by the Kenyan government as a quarantine facility. In addition, the PCR test of travellers from these countries must not be older than 72 hours from the moment of departure. The Kenyan aviation authority, KCAA, makes a new assessment of the risk profile of these countries every day. The requirement for quarantine can therefore change on a daily basis. Travellers who have coronavirus symptoms on arrival in Kenya, or who were seated on the plane in the 2 rows in front of or behind a person with symptoms, must undergo a 14-day quarantine.
Also keep a close eye on the travel rules of the government. Currently, travel abroad is strictly forbidden unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so.
Would you like to receive an e-mail once you can safely travel to Kenya again?
Fill in your e-mail address to stay informed
Can and/or should I return to the UK?
Kenya’s immigration authorities have lifted the amnesty for travellers who stay in the country longer than the permitted 6 months. Since 14 September 2020, travellers who have been in Kenya longer than the permitted 6 months must have left the country within two weeks or have applied for a residence permit.
To travel back to the United Kingdom from Kenya, you will need one of the following documents:
- Proof that you have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the EMA or WHO.
- A negative Covid-19 test result from a NAAT test (PCR, RT PCR, LAMP, TMA or mPOCT). This test must have been taken up to 72 hours before boarding the flight in Kenya.
- A negative result of an antigen test, which is maximal 48 hours old at arrival in the United Kingdom.
- A recovery certificate issued by a European Member State. The positive coronation test must have been taken between 11 and 180 years ago.
Children under 12 may travel back without these documents. Travellers do not have to undergo quarantine upon arrival in the United Kingdom.
Where can I claim the financial damages of the coronavirus?
If your planned trip to Kenya cannot take place 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.
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.