May 26, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Kenya, UAE in talks to end Covid-related flight bans – minister

Kenya says it will only allow Emirati planes to reopen its airspace to Kenyan flights after negotiations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The two countries were locked in a feud over a mutual flight ban, which Dubai started citing Covid-19 infections before Nairobi repaid it in the same coin.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo said the two sides were holding talks on the matter but there was no certainty as to when flights could resume.

“We are working together to reach an agreement on how to get back to normal,” she said at a news conference in her office on Friday.

“I don’t have any white smoke to report today, but I’d like to tell you n that we are active on this matter and we hope that we can reach an agreement that will allow them to open their escape routes and that we can do so right away. It is a matter that is currently being discussed.”

When the UAE imposed a flight ban late last year, they cited Kenya’s then-rising Covid-19 cases, which saw the had countries reporting an infection rate of up to 30 percent.

Fake PCR certificates

There were also complaints about fake PCR certificates on travelers from Kenya, some of whom tested positive on arrival. Now the positivity rate has fallen below 10 percent and some of Kenya’s neighboring countries, such as Uganda and Rwanda, which were on the UAE’s red list, have since been removed.

Last ones Week Kenya extended the ban after the UAE kept Nairobi on the list of those whose flights are not allowed.

Both countries had daily flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and sometimes Sharjah frequented by travelers seeking connections to other parts of the world or to Africa.

The ban affects passengers who had planned to fly through the UAE redirect their travel routes.