NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 30 – The United Kingdom has relaxed its travel advisory for Nairobi, but maintained a warning for non-essential travel to Eastleigh.
In a statement, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office says relaxing of the travel warning for Nairobi brings it into line with travel advice for comparable cities worldwide.
The statement further indicates that the changes on the travel advices are not driven by political or economic factors but reflect solely as an objective assessment of the security position, an evaluation shared with the Kenyan authorities.
The travel advice for other parts of the country, including Mombasa and other towns bordering Somalia has not changed following recent attacks and the continuing terrorist threats in those areas.
The FCO says it does not advise against travel to Kenya’s popular safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies including the Aberdare National Park, Amboseli, Masai Mara among others.
The latest move comes in light of concerns by the tourism sector which claimed a loss of nearly Sh5 billion following cancellations that had been made owing to the travel advisory issued by four western nations recently.
Stakeholders in the industry had urged the government to intervene as the ongoing travel advisories would destroy the tourism industry.
The British Government in conclusion states that it does not enforce its travel advice.
It is for individuals and travel companies to make their own decisions about foreign travel in light of the information available.
The Foreign Office says: “The main threat comes from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group that has carried out attacks in Kenya in response to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.”
In July this year the Foreign Office issued new advice warning Britons to avoid travelling to areas of the Kenyan coast, after attacks by militants in the counties of Lamu and Tana River left around 87 people dead.
Areas of Eastleigh, Mombasa and North Eastern Province have also been at the centre of small-scale grenade and bomb attacks.