Monday 29th March 2021 is an important day in travel and tourism in Kenya. It is the day several deadlines come into effect following President Uhuru’s statement yesterday. The President addressed the nation in the wake of a devastating third Corona Virus wave. The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, in consultation with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and Kenya Railways, have thus come up with the following guidelines for both domestic and international tourists:
- Domestic and international tourists around Kenya needing to travel home via Nairobi have until mid-day Monday 29th March to be in Nairobi.
- Domestic flights will cease from mid-day Monday 29th March.
- Tourists on transit into the country and scheduled to visit offerings out of Nairobi have until mid-day Monday 29th March. After that, they can only enjoy offerings in Nairobi.
- International flights will not be affected. All arriving passengers must adhere to all protocols. They should present a negative COVlD-l9 certificate acquired no more than 96 hours before arrival into the country. However, after Monday mid-day, they will not be able to leave or enter Nairobi since domestic flights will cease by the mid-day of Monday 29th March.
- Restaurants and eateries in Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu, and Nakuru will only provide takeaway services from 27th March 2021. Eateries and restaurants in the other 42 Counties shall continue as is, strictly adhering to Ministry of Health guidelines.
- Hotels cannot serve alcohol in public places, only to their in-house clients.
- Mama Ngina Waterfront closes to the public from Midnight 27th March 2021 until further notice.
Is it a Good Move?
As soon as the ministry made this announcement, stakeholders expressed their reservations about some of the guidelines. Most did not see a sense in allowing international flights while limiting stays to Nairobi. They suggested that international tourists arriving with negative PCR test certificates can tour all parts of the country. They could do so in the company of a guide who had also tested negative. Without such consideration, they warned that the sector and country risked irreparable damage.