NAIROBI, KENYA – Kenya Airways has said it will suspend its passenger flights between Kenya and Britain effective Friday until further notice.
The Kenyan carrier said in a statement issued on Monday evening that the suspension comes after the government issued a directive stopping all flights from Britain beginning April 9.
“Due to the increased demand for travel to the UK before the advisory takes effect on 9th April we have added two new flights on 7th and 8th April 2021,” the airline said.
Kenya Airways said that customers impacted by the directive may change their booking for later travel or request a refund with all penalties waived.
The drastic move comes after Kenya on Saturday condemned the move by Britain to place it on COVID-19 Red List thereby barring visitors from the east African nation from landing at the European nation.
Britain on April 2 communicated its decision to add Kenya to the list of countries whose visitors will be banned from entering its shores from April 9 citing their risk of transmitting new COVID-19 strains.
According to the British Department of Transport, nearly a third of about 550 people who travel from Kenya to the UK each week have been testing positive to the COVID-19 variant originating from South Africa.
However, British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights in Britain who have departed or transited through Kenya will be exempted from the travel ban but will be required to undergo mandatory 10-day quarantine in a government-approved facility besides taking two COVID tests.
Kenya in retaliation against the travel ban said all visitors originating from or transiting through UK airports will be required to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a government facility at their own cost.
Nairobi said that exemption from the new travel restrictions includes cargo flights between the two countries and Kenyan nationals resident in the UK or transiting through the European nation’s airports.