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: 01-10-2020.
What is the situation surrounding the coronavirus in Kenya?
As of the moment of writing (01-10-2020) Kenya has reported 38,529 official cases of coronavirus infections. Of those, 711 people died as a result of the coronavirus. Although the number of infections in Kenya remained relatively low at first, it has quickly increased 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 21:00 and 04:00
- Restaurants are closed after 19.00 and no longer sell alcohol
- A requirement to carry a mask when in public areas
- A ban on the usage of more than 50% of the seats in transportation vehicles
The previous ban on travelling between domestic cities and regions was lifted on 6 July.
Can I already apply for a visa for a planned trip to Kenya?
It is possible to already apply for a visa for Kenya for a planned holiday or business trip. Newly submitted applications will likely be approved within a few days. However, this is entirely dependent on the developments of the coronavirus in Kenya and in the rest of the world.
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, 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 their arrival in Kenya. 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. This form contains a QR code which is scanned on arrival by a customs clerk. The form is used for passengers that only started displaying coronavirus symptoms when the flight already took off.
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.
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.
The British government recommends returning if this is possible. If you are still in Kenya and want to return to the United Kingdom, contact the British embassy. Travellers returning to the UK from Kenya will be required to self-quarantine for 14 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.