Hours before Kenya reopens its airspace for international flights, Chinese nationals have flocked the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi seeking to leave the country.
Long queues were witnessed at the airport on Friday as foreigners, mainly Chinese, rush to exit the country amid rising cases of Covid-19.
Reports indicate the Chinese nationals were leaving the country on request by their government.
“The group is scheduled to fly to China on a repatriation flight. These flights are approved via a bilateral agreement between nations,” Kenya Airways Communications Director Dennis Kashero told a local news outlet.
Most of the travelers cited the upsurge in the number of Covid-19 infections as the reason why they are fleeing the country as they fear the situation could get out of hand.
China is among 11 countries that have been cleared for the resumption of international flights in and out of Kenya from Saturday.
Others are South Korea, Japan, Canada, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Rwanda, Uganda, Namibia, and Morocco.
Transport CS James Macharia said the 11 nations were cleared because they either have mild or limited community transmission or declining cases of Covid-19.
He noted that passengers arriving from these nations will be exempted from quarantine as long as they have a PCR-based Covid-19 negative certificate and body temperature not exceeding 37.5°C.
“They should not have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing, or other flu-like symptoms and must have been tested 96 hours before travel,” Macharia said on Thursday.
He clarified that this is an initial list of countries from which passengers will be granted entry into Kenya and the government will keep on updating it since the Covid-19 situation is not static.