Kenya Will Not Quarantine Tourists With No COVID-19 Symptoms

Nairobi — The government now says only passengers who will exhibit coronavirus-like symptoms will be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine once their airspace is open for international passenger flights on August 1.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said anybody who will come to Kenya with no symptoms of coronavirus and record a body temperature of less than 37.5 degrees celsius will be allowed to leave the airport.

"You do not expect a tourist to come all the way from wherever they will come from to be quarantined here for 14 days. If that will be the case, then they will not come. However, if there is a suspected case on the flight, passengers on the first and the second row from where the case was will all be tested for coronavirus," Macharia told a news conference at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Wednesday as the country prepared to re-open so as to rescue the economy.

"If they test negative, they will be allowed to leave the airport, if they test positive then they will be quarantined according to the Ministry of Health's guidelines,"

The CS said airports across the country will operate under strict restrcitions, only allowing travellers and staff locking out people escorting passengers.

International passenger flights will resume operations on August 1 in measures President Uhuru Kenyatta said are aimed at cushioning the aviation and tourism sector that is worst affected since March when the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country.

"International air travel in and out of Kenya shall resume effective August 1, in strict conformity with all protocols from the ministry of health," President Kenyatta said on Monday during his State of the Nation Address.

All international flights to and from Kenya were suspended on March 25 in measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease.

National carrier Kenya Airways grounded most of its operations save for cargo and government-approved repatriation flights.

Domestic flights in Kenya will resume operations beginning July 15 subject to virus prevention protocols.

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