Kenya News

Kenya lauds removal of restriction for travel by UK govt

The tourism sector has pledged to continue upscaling measures that ensure that the destination remains safe for visitors following the recent move by the UK government to remove Kenya from its Red List that restricted travel of citizens of both countries.

In a statement Sunday, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Chief executive Dr. Betty Radier while lauding the move said progressive initiatives aimed at ensuring the destination remains safe for travellers will be enhanced.

“This is why in n 2020, the government through the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife unveiled the Magical Kenya Tourism and Hospitality protocols which were reviewed in August of 2021 with the aim of ensuring that the industry continues to operate safely, and that visitors and citizens are protected against the Covid-19 pandemic” Said Radier.

Last week, the UK government announced the removal of Kenya from its Red List effective 4am on September 22, 2021, in its latest review of Covid-19 travel restrictions. This means that Kenyan citizens are now allowed to travel into the country and UK citizens can easily travel to Kenya.

The Red List restricts travellers from the listed countries from entering the UK, with the exception of British and Irish citizens and official UK residents.

Those travellers returning from ‘red list’ countries must also provide a negative result on arrival within 72 hours. They also must also quarantine in government-provided facilities at a cost of £2,285 per head – covering food, accommodation, transport, and testing.

Radier said the UK remains one of the top key source of visitors into the country and described the removal of Kenya on the Red list as timely as countries continue to open up for business.

Vaccination of Kenyan citizens and mostly in critical areas that interface with the public including the frontline workers in key sectors is seen as a major step in increasing confidence on the safety of travellers.

KTB CEO notes that the measures have continued to be instrumental in instilling travellers’ confidence in the destination, with the assurance of a safe travel within the destination.

With the removal of Kenya from the red list, travellers from or transiting through Kenya will be exempted from compulsory hotel quarantine, although they may be required to isolate for 10 days and take tests.

Kenya is now categorised as Amber with the move expected to ease travel between Kenya and the United Kingdom and give the tourism industry a much-needed boost with the UK being one of Kenya’s Key tourist source market.

Between January to July this year, Kenya received 19,000 visitors from the UK market marking the largest number of tourists arriving from Europe.

KTB has kept the destination connected to travellers through various programs including campaigns targeted to the market, hyping the London 2020 Marathon and outdoor branding of buses as part of ensuring that Kenya stays top of mind.


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