As is the case with many countries, there are certain restrictions on traveling to Kenya. For example, the majority of foreigners are not able to enter the country without a visa and the requirements vary depending on the nationality of the visitor.
In general, Kenya is a very accessible country. There are few restrictions that would prevent most travelers from visiting the sovereign state under normal circumstances.
However, with the 2019-2020 outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) causing international concern, the government of Kenya put in place entry restrictions to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Entry Restrictions for Kenya
The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, recently announced the gradual lifting of lockdown measures that had been put in place as a result of COVID-19.
The nation took swift action to control the virus, closing the Kenyan borders on March 25th when there were just 25 confirmed cases. Thanks also to this measure, the situation in Kenya has improved sufficiently to allow overseas visitors to return.
International flights have been flying to Kenya since August 1st as the country reopened its borders to foreign tourists. Domestic flights, which had also been temporarily halted, restarted as of 15th July.
Tourism is important to the economy of Kenya, the African nation is welcoming visitors back.
Foreigners who would like to visit the country can now apply for a Kenya visa, travelers have 3 months to enter the country from the issue date.
Tourists who had been affected by the entry restrictions can now reschedule canceled trips, vouchers issued as reimbursement can be used within one year.
Kenya’s Current Entry Requirements
Foreign nationals are expected to have a valid passport and a visa in order to travel to Kenya.
Travelers who wish to visit Kenya will have to complete an online registration form before departure. This form is called the “Travelers Health Surveillance Form”, which requires that each traveler provides information about the status of their health. When completing the online registration, each individual must answer Yes or No to a series of questions regarding Covid19 symptoms.
In the health surveillance form, the traveler will be expected to answer to the following questions:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Nationality, country of origin
- Passport number
- Phone number
- Date of arrival in Kenya
- Airline, flight number, seat number
- Fever (Yes when higher than 37,5)
- Feverish (Yes, No)
- Chills (Yes, No)
- Negative Covid19 PCR (Yes, No)
- Cough (Yes, No)
- Difficulty breathing (Yes, No)
Upon arrival passengers will be subjected to:
- A medical screening
There are 18 countries whose citizens are exempt from quarantine upon arrival as long as they meet the following criteria:
- The passenger does not have a body temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F)
- The passenger does not have a persistent cough, difficulty breathing or other flu-like symptoms
- The passenger has a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test conducted within 96 hours before travel
What Measures Is Kenya Taking Against Coronavirus?
Tourists heading to Kenya in the coming months may have concerns regarding the services and facilities available when they get there.
The good news is that life is gradually beginning to return to normal in Kenya. Movement into and out of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi is now possible, the city had been placed under temporary lockdown but that came to an end on July 7th.
Travelers in the country should be aware that a nationwide curfew between the hours of 9pm and 4am.
Everyone in the country should continue to follow international coronavirus guidelines, including social distancing and using face coverings.
The government stated that the situation is under current review, measures will continue to be eased or may be reinforced if necessary.
It is important that visitors check the latest health advice and preventative measures in place before departing for Kenya.
General Travel Restrictions for Kenya
The majority of travelers cannot travel freely to Kenya. Most visitors to the country must have a visa in order to enter.
Kenya online visa is available to citizens of most countries. This online visa is valid for 90 days.
Eligible foreign nationals can complete a Kenya eVisa form via the internet, which is quick and simple to do.
Check the requirements to obtain an eVisa to see which nationalities are eligible to apply.
There are stricter entry restrictions on nationals of the following countries, who must apply for a consular visa at a Kenyan embassy:
- North Korea
Restrictions on What You Can Bring Into Kenya
There are restrictions on entering Kenya with various items. Firearms, drugs, explosives, weapons, and hazardous material are all prohibited.
Similarly, there are restrictions on meat, plants, soil, pornographic material, and single-use plastic bags.
The amount of alcohol and tobacco that can be brought into the country is limited in accordance with Kenya’s customs regulations.
Travel Advisory for Kenya
In addition to the restrictions on who can enter Kenya, there are also certain parts of Kenya that it is advisable to avoid. These include the following:
- The Kenya-Somalia border
- Certain coastal areas
- Parts of Turkana County
These recommendations are due to high crime rates or conflict in the aforementioned regions.
Similarly, when visiting the city of Nairobi, it is advisable to avoid certain neighborhoods, including Eastleigh and Kibera.
Other parts of Kenya are considered safe for overseas visitors. Even so, as with any trip to another country, travelers should exercise caution and keep their belongings close.
Further travel advice includes:
- Keep your passport and visa in a safe location and always carry copies
- If going as part of a tour, always follow your guide’s instructions
- Make contingency plans to return home in case of emergency