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Developing News: Tanzania Lifts the Ban on KQ

KQ Airbus: Photo Courtesy

The Health Ministry reviewed its Covid-19 trends and excluded Tanzanian nationals from the 14 days mandatory quarantine when they arrive in the country.

 The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) included Tanzania among states and territories whose travelers into the country will be free from quarantine.

The list KCAA was updated to 147 countries exempted from the mandatory quarantine requirement and Tanzania became a party to it.

In the past few months, Tanzanians arriving in Kenya were not allowed to mingle freely with the public until elapse of the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, a move that resulted in a diplomatic dispute between the two countries.  Largely they failed to agree on the Covid-19 protocols to be followed in the cross-border movement of people and goods.

Tanzanian airspace in retaliation banned Kenyan airlines from its space and maintained that it would not lift the ban unless air travelers from Tanzania were accorded the same treatment as those on the initial list of exemptions.

The flight banned from landing Tanzania were three Kenyan carriers – AirKenya Express, Fly540, and Safarilink Aviation as it piled pressure on Kenya to ease its Covid-19 travel restrictions.

The tussle and air space feud come to an eventual end because Kenya did her lifting on the ban and so did Tanzania appreciate by allowing Kenyan airlines to land in Tanzania.

In a statement, TCAA Director General Hamza Johari said the authority was acting on a reciprocal basis after its Kenyan equal, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), included Tanzania on a white list of countries exempted from the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

‘Given that and on a reciprocal basis, Tanzania has now lifted the suspension for all Kenyan Operators namely, Kenya Airways, Fly 540 Limited, Safarilink Aviation and AirKenya Express Limited,” TCAA Director General Hamza Johari said.

Mr. Johari upon lifting the ban that hit Kenya said that Kenyan carriers could resume flights immediately.

The tit-for-tat between the two countries was precipitated by different approaches that they had taken to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

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