Coronavirus: Over 600 tourists leave Mombasa aboard Italian plane

Italian neos chartered plane jetting out of Moi International Airport in Mombasa. [Photo/ Standard Media]

Italian neos plane on Friday jetted out of Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa with over 600 aboard following government’s directive on Thursday.

The tourists, mainly of European origin had arrived in the country about a week ago but were forced to leave due to the coronavirus scourge which has ravaged a section of European countries, Italy being the hardest hit.

The plane left before noon, reports the Standard, forcing some of the tourists to cut short their holiday. Some feared that they will be caught in the suspension of flights to Italy’s Northern cities of Milan and Verona
by the Kenyan government.

Mid this week, Transport CS James Macharia said that the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus chaired by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe suspended all flights from Milan and Verona into the Kenyan coast.

The two Italian cities have been plagued by coronavirus infections. So far, the Italian government has ordered for the closure of schools and universities in the effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

On Friday, NERCC banned international conferences in Kenya for 30 days.

The Health CS said the ban will affect about 15 foreigners who were scheduled to hold conferences in Kenya.

The ban took effect Friday, March 6.

“If a conference or meeting involves people travelling from Europe, the Middle East or so on, we have asked that you suspend at least for the next 30 days,” he said according to the Star.

The ban will also affect Kenyan government officials seeking to travel abroad. The CS said that they will not be allowed to fly abroad “unless it is crucial”.