Following the outbreak and global spread of the COVID-19 public health crisis coronavirus, the aviation industry has suffered adversely from measures taken to combat the spread of the virus. The temporary discontinuation of passenger operations across national borders resulted in a significant drop in international aviation activities.
On the 6 July, 2020 His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Kenya announced the resumption of domestic air passenger operations on 15 July, 2020 and international air passenger operations from 1 August, 2020.
In order to facilitate seamless resumption of air passenger operations the Hon. James W. Macharia, EGH the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban development and Public Works issued protocol and communique for air travel operations during the COVID-19 health crisis. The protocol contains measures to be taken by players and service providers within air travel to mitigate the spread of the virus while the communique advises international passengers which countries can travel in to Kenya while adhering to the COVID-19 prevention guidelines in place
In restarting air passenger operations the protocol adopts Word Health Organisation as well as the Ministry of Health guidelines for combating the spread of the coronavirus, these include: -
a) Public education
b) Physical distancing
c) Face covering and masks
d) Routine sanitization
e) Health Screening
f) Contact tracing; and
g) Health declarations
The communique in tandem classifies requires a traveler to a have negative PCR based COVID–19 test carried out within 96 hours before travel and are from countries considered low to medium risk COVID–19 transmission areas which are exempt from quarantine. Click this link to read the current communique
It is also important to note that the protocol is aligned to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Civil Aviation Restart & Recovery Taskforce (CART) report which provides a guide to global aviation recovery from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In ensuring that passengers and aviation workers are protected from contracting the virus, the protocol issued by the Cabinet Secretary address the following areas:
Addresses elements within the airport environment that have to be addressed by the airport operator to ensure that the airport environment is safe for both passengers and flying public.
Focuses on specific guidance for management of the aircraft such that passengers and workers are not exposed to the virus by being on board the aircraft.
Outlines the protocol to be followed to ensure the safety of crew as well as facilitation of crew on international operations in order to facilitate the provision of their essential services.
Appreciates the possibility of transmission of the virus through cargo operations and thus provides guidance on how to mitigate the possible risks associated with cargo management.
The protocol can be accessed here