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Tanzania strikes back, locks out KQ after exclusion of her nationals to Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 1 – Tanzania has now blocked Kenya Airways from her airspace following Kenya’s decision to exclude her passengers from flying in over fears of COVID-19.

Hours after Kenya released an amended list of countries whose nationalities will be allowed into the country, Tanzania fired back through its civil aviation authority, declaring that KQ’s approval is revoked.

“The authority regrets to inform you that on a reciprocal basis, the Tanzanian Government has decided to nullify its approval for Kenya Airways flights between Nairobi and Dar/Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar effective August 1, 2020 until further notice,” said Hamza Johari, the country’s civil aviation authority Director-General, in a letter to the airline.

He was categorical that the decision was prompted by Kenya’s decision to exclude Tanzania fro a the list of cleared countries.

“Tanzania has noted through a number of media its exlusion in the list of countries whose people will be allowed to travel to Kenya effective August , 2020,” he said.

Kenya reviewed a list of countries whose passengers are welcome on opening its airspace to international passenger flights.

The country’s Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia had on Thursday listed China, Canada, South Korea, Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda, Morocco, Japan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Switzerland as the only countries cleared.

But on Friday, Macharia updated the list to include the US (except for Carlifornia, Florida and Texas), UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar, UAE and Italy “following further review and consultation between the Cabinet Secretaries responsible for Transport, Health and Tourism.”

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“Review of countries from which travelers will not be required to be quarantined upon arrival will be undertaken by the Ministry of Health on day to day basis,” Macharia said.

Kenya’s airspace has remained closed since late March, soon after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country.

“We wish to emphasize and reiterate that from August 1, Kenyan airspace will be open to authorised airlines and travelers,” Macharia said.

Passengers on international flights whose body temperature is not above 37.5 degrees Celcius (99.5F) do not have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing or other flue-like symptoms, have negative PCR based COVID-19 test carried out within 96 hours before travel and are from countries considered low to medium risk COVID-19 transmission areas shall be exempt from quarantine.

Macharia said the list of countries and regulations will be reviewed from time to time.ADVERTISEMENT. SCROLL TO CONTINUE READING.

Kenya’s COVID-19 caseload stood at 20,636 Friday, with 341 deaths.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said 303, 959 tests have been conducted so far.

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