Passengers prepare to board their flights at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Saturday/Photo: KAA

Kenya, Rwanda resume international flights under strict Covid-19 rules

Kenya handled its first international flights on Saturday since they were suspended in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Rwanda on the same day reopened its airport for foreign travel.

Kenya Airways’ first flight took off from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to London while RwandAir, the country’s flag carrier, restarted flights from Kigali International Airport to Dubai in the UAE.

The resumption of international flights in both countries are accompanied by strict health measures to stop the spread of Covid-19, including requiring passengers and airport workers to wear face masks all the time, sanitise their hands while observing social distance and carrying proof of being tested negative for the virus before travel .

Kenya has listed countries allowed to operate flights into the country. These are China, Canada, South Korea, Namibia, Uganda, Rwanda, Morocco, Japan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Switzerland. The other countries cleared to fly in passengers are US (except for California, Florida and Texas), UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar, UAE and Italy.

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Passengers from countries other than those listed above will be quarantined on arrival in Kenya. “Review of countries from which travellers will not be required to be quarantined upon arrival will be undertaken by the Ministry of Health on day to day basis,” Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said on Friday.

All travellers landing in Rwanda must carry a certificate confirming that they had tested negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours of departure. And after arrival in the country, the passengers are to be screened and administered a second test to confirm their negative status, with results delivered within 24 hours, as passengers stay at designated hotels.

Adira Kallo

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