UAE extends ban on air travel from Kenya
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) indefinitely extended the ban on Kenyans to travel to its territory and restricted entry from Nairobi and a variety of other African countries.
Emirates Airlines announced in a press release that it would extend the ban, which was supposed to end on Christmas Eve, until further notice.
The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) announced on December 20 a 48-hour suspension of all flights from Kenya to the Middle East, but on Wednesday the Dubai-based airline announced that it would in turn suspend its flights from Kenya to comply with the Policy that must end on December 24.
“At the moment, flights to and from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda have been suspended.
Passengers who have been or have traveled through these countries in the last 14 days cannot enter or travel through Dubai, ”said the airline’s announcement.
The move is the UAE’s latest global travel restriction aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19 in the wake of the new Omicron variant.
The policy is a blow to the national carrier Kenya Airways, which had seen an increase in bookings on this route due to the ongoing exhibition at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Kenya Airways suspended passenger flights to Dubai in accordance with the policy on Tuesday last week.
The national airline announced that it would refund passengers who booked tickets for the trip within the suspension period.
Travelers can also rebook when flights resume. The suspension came days after Dubai introduced new travel regulations for direct flights from Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
According to the new measures, travelers from Africa had to present a result of the PCR test carried out at the airport six hours before departure for Dubai.
Additionally, travelers had to self-quarantine until they received a negative Covid-19 test certificate within 48 hours of arriving in Dubai.
Kenya has seen a resurgence of the coronavirus with a rapidly increasing number of cases since the highly infectious variant of Omicron was confirmed last week.
The positivity rate, the proportion of positive tests, rose to 34 percent on Wednesday, which is the highest since Kenya recorded the first coronavirus case on March 12 last year.
The rise in coronavirus infections worldwide has led many countries to tighten restrictions to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.
The World Health Organizations (WHO) classifies a country as high risk if the positivity rate rises above five percent and advises countries to consider restrictions if it stays above the limit for at least 14 days.