NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – The Kenya-UK Joint Emergency Response COVID-19 Committee held its inaugural meeting on Thursday to explore ways to resolve the ongoing travel restrictions between the two countries.
The committee which was co-chaired by Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau mandated a technical team to address the movement restrictions and report to the main committee.
A statement shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that the committee also deliberated on the various science and health issues that led to the travel restrictions.
“Kenya and the UK Joint Emergency Response Committee on Covid-19 that was set up by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Raychelle Omamo and UK Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Dominic Raab, to explore ways to resolve ongoing travel restrictions between the two countries held its first meeting Thursday April 15, 2021,” the statement read in part
“The Committee agreed to form technical groups to address the issues and report back to the main Committee in the next few days,” the ministry added.
The MFA said the joint committee agreed on the need to resolve the negative effects of the restrictions and on the importance of a good bilateral relationship
The meeting was also attended by Health PS Susan Mochache, his transport counterpart Solomon Kitungu and Secretary of Trade Linyiru Bruno.
The committee set up by Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab after the UK included Kenya in its list of countries which were banned to enter the European country over fears of high infection rates.
Kenya said it was surprised at the decision by the UK to add it on the red list, despite eforts in place to manage COVID-19.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs went ahead to blast vaccine-producing nations, saying they were hoarding the precious commodity.
“The third wave that Kenya is currently managing with stringent COVID-19 protocols and restrictions is an example of the sacrifice that Kenyans are willing to make to ensure that this disease does not spread in Kenya or anywhere else in the world for that matter. Kenya remains a responsible actor, nationally, regionally and globally,” the ministry stated.
Kenya, in retaliation, said anyone arriving from the UK or transiting through its airports will have to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine in government-designated centres at their own cost.