Kenya's new Covid restrictions explained
Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna on Saturday announced that members of the public can travel into and out of Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu, Kajiado and Nakuru until 8pm Sunday.
In his address on the Covid-19 pandemic on Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared these counties disease infested and ordered the cessation of movement into and out of them.
Later, the government clarified that the public can move freely within the zone but is prohibited from travelling into and out of it.
On Sunday, Col Oguna issued a further clarification, and said the government has given a transition period for adjustments.
When President Kenyatta tightened the covid-19 measures to contain a devastating third wave, there was little time for the public to act accordingly as they were caught off guard by the movement restrictions.
“We are aware that some of our people may have been locked in and out of the Zoned Area. For those affected, the government has allowed a transition period until tomorrow, outside the curfew period. This applies to college students as well,” the spokesperson said.
He added, “There will be inconveniences but it is a price to pay so that we may be able to get back to our normal lifestyle, without which some of us will not be there to see tomorrow. We need us all to be there to see tomorrow. Tomorrow does not mean Sunday. It could mean 2022."
Asked why the clarifications came later, Col Oguna said, “The president does not need to offer granulated details. He speaks at a very high level. The technical issues are to be filled by us.”
Regarding students writing national exams, he said there are measures to ensure their faciliation once the exercise ends.
Here is Col Oguna's full statement:
Further to the Public Order No 2 of 2021 on Covid-19 containment measures issued by the President, we wish to thank you all for the understanding that this pandemic can only be effectively contained if we all play our part in protecting ourselves and others.
For better adherence to the containment measures enumerated in the public order above, we wish to clarify and offer more details on certain issues:
Restriction of all movement by road, rail, and air in and out of the Counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru. We wish to clarify that these five counties have been grouped together into One Zone.
Movement is therefore restricted from other counties into the zone or from inside the zone to other counties. Roadblocks will be mounted at strategic locations to monitor movement as follows:
- At Nachu along Ngong Suswa Road.
- At Mahi Mahiu near Catholic Church along Mahi Mahiu-Nairobi Road.
- At Mathore/Soko Mjinga at the border with Nakuru County area Lari Sub County along Nairobi-Nakuru Highway.
- At Gakoe area in Gatundu North along the Forest Road running from Nyandarua to Kiambu.
- At Blue Post in Thika west along Nairobi-Nyeri road
- At Gateiguru market along Makuyu-Gateiguru Road in Thika East.
- At Isinya along Konza-Isinya road within Isinya Sub County.
- At Railway Bridge Stone Athi along Lukenya- Kitengela road in Isinya Sub-County.
- At Njugini bridge (Loitoktok) Ilasit-Rombo Road within
- At Tsavo Gate Loitoktok-Intilal Road within Kajiado South.
- At Ilasit along Tanzania-Kenya border in Kajiado South.
- At Kiu along Makueni-Mashuru Road.
- At Emali SGR underpass.
- At Flyover Loitoktok Junction Masimba.
- At Kiboko area off Nairobi-Mombasa Road Mashuru Sub County.
- At Kibiko area Suswa-Ngong Road within Kajiado North Sub County.
- At Vet farm along Narok-Ngong Road through KikuyuKajiado North Sub County.
- At Katumani Machakos junction along Mombasa-Nairobi Road within Athi River Sub County.
- At Katuaa along Machakos-Wote Road within Machakos County.
- At Kali along Machakos-Mbooni Road, Machakos.
- At Kwa Mutisya along Kimutwa-Kwa Mutisya road within Machakos.
- At Kavumbu along Masii-Tawa Road within Mwala Sub-County.
- At Mbaikini-Muthetheni-Ikalaasa Road within Mwala Sub-County.
- At Tiva bridge along Machakos-Kitui Road within Yatta Sub-County.
- At Kambi La Mawe along Ndalani-Kambi Mawe, Kaloleni Road within Yatta Sub-County.
- At Kavingo along Kyua-Kanyangi Road within Yatta Sub-County.
- At Kaburu Dam along Embu-Kanyonyo Road within Yatta Sub-County.
- At Mai Mahiu, along Mai Mahiu-Nairobi Road.
- At Kinungi Nairobi-Nakuru Highway.
- At Karunga Market, along Gilgil-Olkalau Road.
- At Subukia along Nyahururu-Nyeri Road.
- At Mau Summit from both Kericho and Eldoret.
- At Kericho/Molo Junction into Molo Town.
- At Mau Narok, Mwisho wa Lami.
- At Kambi ya Moto along Baringo/Nakuru Road.
- At Dondori Market, entering through Lanet.
Nairobi County, sandwiched between Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado counties, will not have roadblocks to monitor restriction of movement.
However, Regional Police Commander may mount roadblocks to enforce other security and Covid-19 containment measures.
2. Transition period: We are aware that some of our people may have been locked in and out of the oned Area. For those affected, the government has allowed for transition period until tomorrow 28th March 2021 outside the curfew period. This applies to college students as well.
On the other hand, individuals who had bought SGR or airplane tickets are allowed to use them between today and next Monday 29th March 2021 by mid-day, a time upon which SGR and domestic flights in and out of the Zoned area shall be suspended.
3. Passes: Individuals who are holders of curfew passes will continue to use the old passes until new ones are issued by Tuesday next week.
The procedure of application for new passes remain the same. This applies to healthcare workers, and Journalists, among others.
4. Work shifts: Enterprises whose work force are deployed in double shifts (day and night) such as factories and construction are not affected by the new measures. Operations of such companies will continue uninterrupted.
5. Flights: All domestic flights in and out of the Zoned area will be suspended from 29th March 2021 mid-day. International flights are however exempt from this, but international travellers must observe all Covid-19 protocols, which include possessing a Covid-19 negative certificate obtained within 96 hours before travel. Tourists who are coming to Kenya or had booked to travel to Kenya are urged not to cancel their bookings.
They are only required to have the Covid-19 negative certificate, and upon getting to Nairobi, they can hire private plane to their destinations in the country upon clearance by Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCA).
6. Specialised treatment: Cases of individuals seeking specialised treatment within the Zoned area will be addressed on a case by case basis upon proof of referral and obtaining clearance from the nearest Police Commander. The same applies for transportation of caskets, which must be disposed of within 72 hours.
7. Sporting activities: These remain suspended until further notice.
8. Physical gatherings for worship in churches and mosques: These have been suspended within the zoned area. However, physical gatherings for worship can go on in the other Counties while observing the 1/3 capacity rule and other Covid-19 containment measures.
These measures may be inconveniencing and even disruptive to our livelihoods and activities. However, life is sacred, and we must protect it at all cost.
The pain and anguish that Covid-19 has visited on many of us should be enough reason for us to work together to contain it.
Let us be each other’s keeper by wearing our masks, washing and sanitising our hands regularly, avoiding crowded areas, and maintaining social distancing. Let us persevere as we collectively combat this pandemic to enable us go back to as normal lives as soon as possible.
Story by Daniel Ogetta