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Selection of Countries allowed to fly to Kenya not based on diplomatic relations – Govt

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 – As Kenya prepares to open its skies up to international passengers on August 1st, the Ministry of Health has said that the selection of countries whose passengers are allowed in is not based on diplomatic relations.

Health Cabinet Secretary said the categorization will keep on changing, based on calculated risks, checked modelling and on scientific assessment, which are all intended to protect Kenyans.

“It is not a question of diplomatic likes or diplomatic dislikes. It has nothing to do with diplomatic relationships,” Kagwe said on Friday when he announced a rise in COVID-19 cases by 723, to bring the country’s caseload to 20,636.

“What this has to do with is the health assessment and protecting Kenyans from what can easily become another imported case of virus growth. It started off as imported, it became community, so we have no intention of starting another set of an imported spread.”

Kagwe added that the Ministry of Transport would issue regular communiques, inclusive of updated lists of countries allowed into the country.

So far, Kenya has cleared passengers from countries that include China, South Korea, Japan, Canada and Uganda to tour the country.

Others include France, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Switzerland and Morocco.

Previously, the Ministry of transport has said that it will require all passengers arriving in the country to produce a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based COVID-19 certificate whose test should have been done 96 hours before travel.

According to the communiqué, all the passengers arriving in the country will be required to produce a PCR based Covid-19 certificate whose test should have been done 96 hours before travel.

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Countries around the world have been gradually opening up their borders to pave way for resumption of global air travel after flights were suspended due to travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19. 

Since Kenya closed its boarders four months ago, the aviation industry has suffered losses running into billions.

Last month, Kenya Airways said it had lost an estimated Sh10 billion in revenue, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns.

“Our estimate is since January to date, we have probably lost in terms of revenue about $100 million,” KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka said, adding that figure was expected to grow to between $400 and $500 million by the end of the year.

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