US issues travel advisory to Kenya over COVID-19, terrorism

US Embassy Nairobi
US Embassy Nairobi. [Photo courtesy]

US issues travel advisory to Kenya over COVID-19, terrorism

The US government through the Department of State has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Kenya due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The travel advisory comes barely a week after Kenya lifted a ban on international travel. International flights resumed on August 1 after a three-month hiatus.

The US through the Centres For Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that Kenya’s COVID-19 cases are increasing at an alarming rate.

Kenya has lifted stay at home orders, and resumed some transportation options and business operations…Reconsider travel to Kenya due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Kenya due to crime, terrorism, health issues, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk,” the Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Kenya read.

By Friday, the total caseload of confirmed cases was 25,138 with a total of 413 deaths.

Across all the 467 counties, the virus has spread rapidly.

The travel alert also comes as Kenya allowed the US to enter its airspace but warned that travellers from California, Florida and Texas would have to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the country.

The advisory also asked its citizens to remain on high alert over terrorism crime and kidnapping.

It urged her citizens to stay away from terror and crime-prone areas along the Kenya-Somalia border, North Eastern region, and the coastal areas of Kilifi, Lamu and Tana River.

Those who wish to travel to Kenya’s far north to Turkana were warned of criminal activities along the Kainuk-Lodwar road.

Other places Americans were discouraged to visit include Kibera and Eastleigh areas over possible kidnapping.

 “Terrorist attacks have occurred with little or no warning, targeting Kenyan and foreign government facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, hotels, resorts, markets/shopping malls, and places of worship. Terrorist acts have included armed assaults, suicide operations, bomb/grenade attacks, and kidnappings,” the advisory on the US Embassy Nairobi website read.

 “Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time. Street crime can involve multiple armed assailants. Local police often lack the resources and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.

“Consider carefully whether to use the Likoni ferry in Mombasa due to safety concerns,” it added.