Tourists with a valid visa may travel to Kenya. But is the current situation in Kenya safe?
The Coronavirus figures in Kenya
Compared to many other countries, the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya has been relatively mild. The country has so far (16-11-2021) reported a total of 254,309 confirmed cases and 5,319 deaths due to COVID-19. In comparison, the United Kingdom has notified 9,600,373 infections and 142,945 deaths. Recently, the number of cases has been declining. At the beginning of September, there were still more than 900 new infections a day; on 7 October, there were only 218. A total of 6,08 million vaccinations have been administered in Kenya to this day. 2,18 million Kenyans have been fully vaccinated, which is about 4.1% of the total population.
What does the UK government say?
As a consequence of COVID-19, the UK government advises to regularly check Kenyaʼs current entry restrictions and requirements and monitor these advices for the latests updates.
There are also certain areas in Kenya where there is a high terrorist risk. The government advises UK citizens against all but essential travel. This concerns the areas within 60 km of the Kenya-Somali border, the eastern districts of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera, except for Wajir airport. Travel to Lamu district and Kiwayu island is also strongly discouraged.
Is it mandatory to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
Unlike countries like Canada and America, which have made full vaccination mandatory for incoming travellers, this is not the case for Kenya. Travellers do not need to be fully vaccinated to travel to the country. Yet this is strongly recommended by the UK government. The chance of contracting coronavirus in Kenya is still high, despite the decreasing numbers of new cases. If you have been fully vaccinated, this will also make the return journey from Kenya to the United Kingdom easier. You will need to take a COVID-19 test before departure and complete a passenger locator form. Then, you have to take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after arrival in the UK. If you do not have proof of vaccination, you must take a COVID-19 test 3 days prior to departure, book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken after arrival in the UK and complete a passenger locator form. Once in the UK, you must quarantine for 10 full days and take the COVID-19 PCR test you booked before you travel.
COVID-19 regulations in Kenya
Kenya has adopted a number of measures to ensure the safety of both its own citizens and incoming travellers. For example, all travellers to Kenya must be in possession of a negative coronavirus test taken up to 96 hours before departure. Your temperature must not exceed 37.5 °C on arrival in Kenya. Travellers should also complete the Travellerʼs Health Surveillance Form on the Kenyan Immigration Departmentʼs website. After completing this form, you will receive a QR code that you must show upon arrival in Kenya. British travellers who test negative for corona do not have to undergo quarantine in Kenya. If you test positive, you will have to undergo a compulsory 14-day quarantine.
There are also rules for travellers leaving Kenya. They must upload a COVID-19 test result through a special portal, the ‘Trusted Travel’ system. You must keep the code you will receive here and show it to the Kenyan authorities before you leave.
In Kenya, the use of face masks is mandatory. You should also keep enough distance from other people.
A visa is required
In addition to the COVID-19 regulations, British travellers must also take into account that they are required to have a Kenyan visa. This means that they must apply for a visa to enter the country. In early 2021, Kenya stopped using physical visas. Nowadays, it is only possible to apply for a visa Kenia online. This online visa Kenya is valid for 3 months. The visa allows you to stay in Kenya for a maximum of 90 days. The maximum stay of 90 days does not start until the date that you actually arrive in Kenya, even if this date is different from the date on the application form.