AfricaCoronavirusNewsCovid-19: Kenya Scraps Mandatory Mask-Wearing, Temperature Screening In Public
Kenya’s Ministry of Health has announced a relaxation of the COVID-19 containment measures following relatively fewer cases as well as positivity rates over the past couple of months.
The Health Minister, Mutahi Kagwe, in a press address on Friday, announced that Kenyans are no longer obligated to wear face masks in public places.
The Minister, however, encouraged Kenyans to keep wearing their face masks during indoor meetings, where all attendees must have undertaken the jab while encouraging social distancing in public places and the avoidance of overcrowding.
“There has been a lot of debate and discussions on the continued use of face masks as one of the containment measures. The mandatory wearing of face masks in open, public spaces is now lifted,” he said.
“Nonetheless, people are advised to maintain social distancing and avoid crowding in public spaces to ensure that risk of spread is limited. We, however, encourage the use of face masks in all indoor functions.”
He added, “All in-person indoor meetings to resume at full capacity of the venue as long as participants are vaccinated. All attendees should be encouraged to wear face masks.”
Kagwe further announced a resumption of in-person worship provided all congregants are vaccinated:
“All in-person worship is to resume at full capacity as long as all the congregants and worshippers are vaccinated.”
Stating that all quarantine of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons is to be stopped with immediate effect, he scrapped the screening of temperature in public.
“It has been noted that majority of Covid-19 cases present themselves without fever. As such, the use of temperature screening in public spaces has little utility in current epidemiological scenarios. In this regard therefore, the practice of temperature screening at public spaces can be stopped,” he stated.
The minister also announced the lifting of the requirement for PCR tests for fully-vaccinated travellers to Kenya, although unvaccinated visitors will have to take antigen tests and self-isolate if positive
“Travellers who are fully vaccinated shall forthwith be exempted from the requirements of a PCR test.
“All eligible unvaccinated travellers arriving at any port of entry into Kenya must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result conducted not more than 72 hours before departure, regardless of the route of entry. Children below five years exempted from this testing requirement.”
A total of 5,644 people have died of Covid out of 323,160 infections in Kenya since the first case was recorded in the country on March 12, 2020, according to official figures.
Kagwe said measures introduced in Kenya since the start of the pandemic had saved the country from “catastrophe” but warned: “This, however, is not to say that we are already completely out of the woods.”
By Ezinwanne Onwuka (Senior Reporter)

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