Following a decision to bar Kenyans from entering the European Union (EU) block, EU Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue has given an in-depth explanation.
The EU ambassador explained that one of the conditions being scrutinized by a team of 27 ambassadors from EU member states is a country’s epidemiological situation.
This means that the country of origin for anyone seeking to enter the EU block must be declared “safe” from coronavirus which Kenya is currently not given the high number of infections being recorded daily.
In response to Business Daily, The EU Ambassador said that one of the guidelines must show a projection of decrease of coronavirus which shouldn’t be more than EU’s 14-day average number of new infections per 100,000 people, currently at 16.
“The list of safe countries (15 countries) was decided, taking into account the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing,” Mordue said.
Kenya on Wednesday recorded 307 new infections pushing the tally of recorded cases to 6,366 from a sample size of 169,836.
Health CAS Dr Rashid Aman warned that the numbers will rise through to December.
With the ban on Kenya, Mordue noted that “it is important to note that the EU borders are not closed for essential travel. This includes Kenyans who are long-term residents in the EU or who hold national long-term visas, as well as their respective family members.”
In East Africa, Reuters reports, only Uganda and Rwanda were allowed to enter the block while other Western countries such as the US, Australia, Russia and Brazil in South America have also been barred.
Foreign Affairs PS Amb Macharia Kamau while commenting on the matter maintained that the ministry is yet to receive formal communication on this.
“In any case, Kenya cannot discuss entering Europe until we open our borders,” the PS said.
EU Commission spokesman Eric Mamer last week said the EU has an internal process to determine from which countries it would be safe to accept travellers.