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: 15-04-2021.
What is the coronavirus situation in Kenya?
At the moment of writing (15-04-2021), Kenya has reported 148,128 official cases of coronavirus infections. Of those, 2,420 people died as a result of the coronavirus. The number of infections in Kenya has quickly started to rise since March 2021, primarily in the districts Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kajiado, Mombasa and Kisumu. Passenger flights between Kenya and the United Kingdom have been suspended since 9 April. The Kenyan government has therefore taken drastic measures to stop the spread of the virus. These include:
- The districts Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, Nakuru and Kajiado have been designated as "disease infected areas".
- A curfew until 11 May, between 22:00 and 04:00. In the disease infected areas, between 20:00 and 04:00
- Travelling in and out of the disease infected areas is forbidden, and train, air and road traffic has been halted. Within these districts, people can move around freely. This also means that travellers who arrive at the airport of Nairobi cannot travel to other parts of the country.
- In the disease infected areas, bars are closed and restaurants are only open for pick up
- Bars and restaurants are closed after 21.00
- Masks are mandatory in public areas, cars and in public transportation
- A ban on the usage of more than 60% of the seats in transportation vehicles
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 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 Trusted Travel system of the African Union. Travellers can receive a Trusted Traveler certificate by uploading their test result on the website of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. As many travellers are experiencing difficulties with this verification, it is expected that test results without a certificate will still be accepted for now.
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
Quarantine usually not mandatory
On arrival, travellers from certain countries 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 UK must spend 7 days in self-isolation if they are fully vaccinated. If they are not yet fully vaccinated, they must spend 14 days in quarantine.
Residents of countries that the Kenyan government considers to have a high risk profile - including Spain and the Czech Republic - 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. 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.
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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.
To return to the United Kingdom from Kenya, you must provide all of your travel details and be able to present a negative Covid-19 test result which was taken at maximum 3 days before departure. Once you arrive in the UK, you must take 2 additional tests which must have been booked before arrival. You are also required to self-isolate for 10 days.
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.