As is the case with many countries, there are certain restrictions on travelling 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 travellers from visiting the sovereign state under normal circumstances.
Foreign visitors are advised that the coronavirus Kenyan travel ban has been lifted and it is possible to apply for a Kenyan visa online. Travellers who wish to plan their trip, then, can obtain their permission to enter the country.
Please note that as this is an ongoing situation, changes and new restrictions may be implemented at a moment’s notice to ensure the safety of travellers and the Kenyan population. It is highly recommended to check the latest news and follow the government’s instructions.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) entry restrictions for Kenya
On the 26th March 2021 President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a new lockdown due to the rising numbers of cases. All travel into of out of Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiadu, Machakos and Nakuru is prohibited and a new curfew of 8pm to 4pm will be observed. Elsewhere in the country the original curfew of 10pm to 4pm will stay in place and international travel can continue.
International airline services 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 and the African nation is welcoming visitors back.
Foreigners who would like to visit the country can now apply for a Kenya visa. Travellers have 3 months to enter the country from the date of issue.
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 during COVID-19
Foreign nationals are expected to have a valid passport and a visa in order to travel to Kenya.
In addition, all passengers must comply with the following requirements:
Take a PCR test before traveling to Kenya and test negative for COVID-19
Present a health certificate confirming the above test
Complete the “Travellers Health Surveillance Form”
Submit to medical screening upon arrival in Kenya
Undergo quarantine if necessary
PCR test for Coronavirus for Kenya
All passengers are required to present a medical certificate verifying that they tested negative for coronavirus before coming to Kenya.
The sample for the PCR test must have been taken at most 96 hours before departure from the first embarkation point.
In the case of diplomatic passport holders, the PCR test must be done within 7 days before arrival.
The travellers health surveillance form for Kenya
All travellers who wish to visit Kenya will have to complete an online registration form before departure. This form is called the “Travellers Health Surveillance Form”, which requires that each traveller provides information about the status of their health, including if they have experienced any symptoms of COVID-19.
Kenya coronavirus quarantine regulations
Upon arrival passengers will be subjected to medical screening and quarantine unless they come from a nation featured in the list of quarantine-exempt country.
Arrivals from the majority of countries and territories are now exempt from Kenyan quarantine requirements unless they show signs of having COVID-19. However, travellers landing in the country from certain locations must undergo quarantine upon arrival.
There are over 180 countries and territories whose citizens do not have to 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
Can I Travel With My Kenya eVisa During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Travellers who are eligible to visit Kenya with an electronic visa (eVisa) are currently able to do so. With borders reopened and flights operating to and from the country, passengers can travel with a Kenya eVisa even during the coronavirus pandemic.
Should I be cancelling or postponing my travel to Kenya due to coronavirus?
As mentioned, Kenyan borders are open and there are no extraordinary entry restrictions for eligible travellers. This means that the local government does not require visitors to cancel or postpone their visit.
All foreign nationals should check whether they need a visa and what type of permit best suits their circumstances before leaving for Kenya. The online Kenyan visa is usually the fastest and easiest to obtain for tourists and is currently available.
Will I get a refund if my eVisa is cancelled for Covid?
Since the eVisa application system is operating as usual and eligible international passengers can enter the country freely, Kenyan eVisas are not being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a consequence, there is no special refund policy in place for coronavirus.
However, a visa can be canceled should its holder fail to respect the terms and conditions attached to it (i.e. travelling for reasons other than the ones approved for the eVisa, lying on the application form, and more.)
Travelling to Kenya During Coronavirus: Current Safety Measures
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.
Travellers in the country should be aware that a nationwide curfew between the hours of 10pm and 4am.
Is it safe to travel during COVID-19 to Kenya?
Airlines and the Kenyan authorities are taking steps to ensure the safety of travellers.
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 travellers cannot enter Kenya freely. Most visitors to the country must have a visa in order to gain access.
Kenya online visa is available to citizens of most countries. This online visa is valid for 30 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:
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 neighbourhoods, including Eastleigh and Kibera.
Other parts of Kenya are considered safe for overseas visitors. Even so, as with any trip to another country, travellers 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