The government has responded to the recent decision by the United Kingdom (UK) to add Kenya into its red list travel ban countries.
In a letter addressed to Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UK said that visitors who have been in or transited through Kenya in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into Britain starting Friday, April 9.
In what is seen as a retaliatory response, the Kenyan government has imposed almost similar sanctions against visitors coming to Kenya from the UK.
Starting 9th April, all passengers originating from or transiting through UK airports will now be required to go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own cost, upon entry into Kenya.
And not only that, while in isolation, those passengers will be required to take two PCR COVID-19 tests, on day two and day eight of their quarantine, at their own cost.
These sanctions, however, does not apply to cargo flights and Kenyan nationals resident in the UK or transiting through UK airports into Kenya- they are exempted.
In what could easily deteriorate into a long, protracted diplomatic row between Kenya and the UK, the former now accuses the latter of COVID-19 “vaccine apartheid”.
According to Kenya, vaccine producing countries, the UK in particular, are currently hoarding the much-needed jabs, while distributing them sparingly to specific countries and discriminating against others.
“Kenya continues to see, with deep regret, that vaccine producing countries around the world have begun practicing a form of vaccine nationalism, possessiveness and discrimination, coupled with a vaccine hoarding attitude that can only be described as a form of vaccine apartheid,” says Kenya in a statement to the UK.
Kenya says that it cannot fathom how during a global pandemic such as the world is facing, some countries could resort to behaviours, which are not only reckless but also widens existing inequalities, making it near impossible for the world to win the war against the pandemic.
“Vaccine producing countries like the UK must remember that this virus did not originate in Africa, it knows no geographic boundaries, neither has it existed long enough for humankind to understand what it will morph into the future,” adds Kenya.