The United Kingdom (UK) on Sunday, March 22 announced plans to facilitate the return of its citizens in Kenya to the United Kingdom over the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
High Commissioner Jane Marriott spoke on the plan after Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced the suspension of all international flights into the country effective Wednesday, March 25 following the confirmation of eight more Coronavirus cases that brought the total number of confirmed cases in Kenya to 15.
Marriott urged UK nationals in Kenya to get in touch with the foreign office to facilitate their trips home, further noting that they were working in conjunction with Kenyan authorities.
“As you are aware the UK government has advised against all but essential travel globally, and the Kenyan government has now advised that flights will be suspended in and out of Kenya from Wednesday, the 25th of March.
“We are working closely with the government of Kenya to ensure that all British nationals who wish to leave Kenya should be able to do so,” she stated.
Marriott revealed that priority would be given to those considered vulnerable to infection; particularly the elderly and those with underlying health issues.
“Given the challenge we are facing globally, we’d like to prioritize those with special health needs, older people and those with young children,” she asserted.
Kagwe had announced the suspension of all international flights into the country with the exception of cargo flights.
The Coronavirus has so far killed 281 people in the United Kingdom aged between 18 and 102.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Sunday, March 22, renowned political analyst Herman Manyora called for the military to take charge of the Coronavirus response, particularly to enforce directives on travel restrictions.
“We need the military to take charge of the response team so that we can have some discipline. Do you think the military will simply be taking bribes? No. They will ensure we stick to the measures put in place.
“We have people still flying into Kenya from all sorts of countries. We have ships docking. As recently as the other week, we had a plane from Italy. Italy!
“The military will be able to take control of this, to ensure that we are not putting lives at risk by letting people in,” he maintained.
Watch a video of Marriott addressing UK citizens in Kenya below:
We are working with the Kenyan government to ensure that all British Nationals who wish to leave Kenya are able to do so. Please follow our travel advice for the latest. If you are vulnerable (health issues, elderly) or have young children, you can call us on +254202844000. pic.twitter.com/vrXTXZxbab
— Jane Marriott (@JaneMarriottFCO) March 22, 2020