Kenya extends international flights ban for 30 more days, exempts cargo and foreigner evacuation flights

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Sunday announced that the government had resolved to extend the suspension of international flights for 30 more days effective Monday, 16 April 2020, in the war against COVID-19.

CS Macharia, speaking during a press address at Afya House, noted that this was arrived at after serious consideration since the two-week ban previously issued on 22 March expires on Sunday midnight.

“This suspension will however not apply to those flights coming in to evacuate foreign nationals from the country. It also exempts cargo flights that are coming to the country to deliver goods,” he said.

The CS however cautioned that the flights allowed to come in must not be carrying any passengers, adding that those that will be evacuating their foreign nationals must also give the government a notice of 72 hours in advance.

He also revealed that a Kenya Airways plane will on Wednesday be cleared to take off to China to bring back medical equipment necessary in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

CS Macharia further stated that a number of Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) in the country are not adhering to hygiene standards as advised by the Ministry of Health.

“From tomorrow Monday April 6, 2020, any matatu operator found not observing the set directives will have their Sacco licenses suspended and the vehicle impounded,” he announced.

“The offenders will also be charged in a court of law in line with the Public Health Act for deliberately spreading the virus.”

The CS added: “Bodaboda riders who continue to flout the directives already issued will also have their motorcycles impounded and they will face the full force of the law.”

CS Macharia also said visits to prison facilities in the countries shall remain suspended for another 30 days.

Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, speaking during the same presser, announced 16 more positive cases of coronavirus in the country, hence bringing the total to 142, including the four deaths from the disease so far.


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