Kenya has accused the United Kingdom (UK) of discrimination after the European country banned travellers from or transiting through Kenya in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19.
In a statement on Saturday, the ministry of foreign affairs said Kenya was disappointed in the UK’s unilateral decision to restrict travellers.
“This unilateral decision does not reflect a prevailing logic and scientific knowledge of the disease or the spread of the pandemic. Rather, the decision seems to be motivated by a discriminatory policy against certain countries and peoples,” Kenya said.
“Kenya has been consistent in maintaining a positive stance towards the United Kingdom despite the challenges and disruptions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Kenya has also remained in constant contact with the Government of the United Kingdom throughout this pandemic in order to maximise opportunities for cooperation.”
In retaliation, Kenya will starting April 9 have passengers transiting through or from UK to Kenya undergo 14-day quarantine at their own expense.
During this period, they will undergo two Covid-19 tests.
“While in isolation, they will be subject to take two PCR Covid-19 tests, on day two and eight of their quarantine, at their own cost,” the ministry said.
Kenyan nationals and cargo flight operators will be exempted from the exercise.
“Kenyan nationals resident in the UK or transiting though its airports into Kenya are exempt,” added the ministry.
Further, cargo flights between the two countries will operate under protocols to be announced on a later date.
These two groups will, however, be required to present a negative Covid-19 certificate.
Kenya added that vaccine producing countries “have begun practising 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”.
On Friday, the UK added Kenya, Bangladesh, Philippines and Pakistan to its “red list” travel ban.
Starting April 9, passengers transiting through or from these countries will not be allowed into the European country.
UK noted that the decision was solely based on “scientific evidence”.