Kenya has suspended all inbound and transit passenger flights from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for seven days.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director-General Gilbert Kibe on Tuesday said that the ban which took effect from Monday midnight was in response to a similar directive by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) on December 20 last year.
“The talks have been happening and are still ongoing, but we are doing this in reciprocation of the similar ban. This is what the government has decided to do,” he said.
The Dubai Aviator regulator had pointed out that the middle eastern country had banned all inbound and transit passenger flights from Kenya because travelers were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival despite carrying negative test results.
It is believed that the scheme involved a racket of corrupt officials from Ministry of Health who colluded with travelers to issue fake Covid-19 PCR results to aid travel to Dubai.
Dubai had announced a 48-hour suspension on all flights from Kenya on December 20, 2021.
On December 29, 2021, Emirates Airline said it had, in turn, extended its suspension of flights from Kenya to comply with the directive that was to end on December 24 until further notice.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had afterward stated that the government was in talks with Dubai to reinstate flights from Kenya following the ban after all the officials at the airport conducting Covid-19 tests had been replaced.
In the notice by KCAA, all travelers to countries requiring antigen testing hours before travel will be required to undertake pre-travel rapid antigen test at the Ministry of Health Port Health facility at the airport and the results uploaded to the Trusted Travel platform.
“All passengers arriving in Kenya through any point of entry must have a certificate of Covid-19 vaccination. Travelers below the age of eighteen (18) years are exempt from this requirement,” KCAA said.
The authority also indicated that all passengers coming to Kenya must be in possession of a valid Covid-19 negative PCR test certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure regardless of the route of entry.
It explained that there will be no paper verification of Covid-19 test results and vaccination certificates upon arrival into the country.