State drops demand on local travellers info

Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 00:00 | By
Local and international travellers wait for clearance at JKIA in Nairobi early this year. Photo/File

The government has now abolished requirements for local travellers to provide their information in the Ministry of Health portal.

Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, however, says that the requirement stands for all international travellers to Kenya.

Mochache said the move was necessitated by delays occasioned at the airport because of delay in the QR code after submission of information.

“Jitenge locals has faced a few challenges with the main issue being delay of QR codes after submission of traveller’s information on Jitenge App leading to delay in boarding of passengers and exit clearance at the airport,” Mochache said.

In a memo to the Director General of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), the PS said the delay has contributed by overload to the server slowing down the generation of QR codes and user capacity/support-travellers and port health officers.

“The purpose of this communication is to inform all stakeholders in aviation industry of the move to suspend the local travel submission of traveller information on ‘Jitenge,’ the memo dated September 20, 2021, states. 

It adds: “However, take note that the international use of ‘Jitenge’ continues.”

There have been delays especially at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as passengers line up to provide their information before exiting the airport.

Airport officials and MoH officers often use gadgets to scan the QR codes or enter mobile phone numbers for all passengers and those accompanying them.

The information is a requirement for purposes of contact tracing incase of suspected cases of Covid-19 among passengers using same airline.

Self isolation

Before this directive, it was compulsory for all local and international travellers to provide their medical and travel history alongside their details that include residence or address and next of kin. 

However, unlike international travel, local passengers are not required to provide Covid -19 negative test results done 48 hours before exit or entry into Kenya. 

Kenya also silently abolished requirement for international travellers to self isolate for 24 hours after entry.

This is unlike other regional countries such as Rwanda where one has to undergo a mandatory isolation in specific hotels to await a Covid test that is conducted at the Kigali airport upon arrival.

Uganda also conducts mandatory test upon arrival at Entebbe Airport.

Kenya recently got a reprieve after the United Kingdom removed it from the Red List thereby allowing those entering the UK from Nairobi to avoid going into quarantine.

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