After sustained pressure from various stakeholders, the UK has lifted Kenya from the Red list to amber, easing travel between the two states with effect at 4am on September 22.
The announcement made Friday is part of a series of changes that will lift travel restrictions that were effected in April. Other countries removed from the Red List are Egypt, Maldives, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The Red List restricts travellers coming from those countries from entering the UK.
Kenya hit out at the UK after London added the east African country to its coronavirus travel ‘red list’ in April.
In a strongly-worded statement, the Foreign Affairs ministry said the decision was ‘discriminatory’ and lacked ‘logic and scientific knowledge of the disease or the spread of the pandemic’.
Kenya banned flights from the UK, effective April 9 in retaliation.
Consequently, travellers from Kenya will be exempted from compulsory hotel quarantine, although they may be required to isolate for 10 days and take tests.
UK High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott said the development was “good news”.
:I know how this has been difficult but our Kenya-United Kingdom partnership remains strong,” Marriott said Friday.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu said the lifting is good news for business, tourism, students and their parents.
This is even as Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo called for a change in issuance of travel advisories without corresponding support must change.
“It is not acceptable for countries to be registered for travel advisories, for travel bans to be imposed unilaterally without those countries providing support in disease surveillance, in testing kits and vaccines. There has to be a balance in our world,” Omamo told the Diplomatic Corps in Nairobi on Friday.
She said that when travel bans are imposed unilaterally, they kill tourism and service sectors and as a result exacerbate poverty.