aviation industry

Tanzania lifts ban on Kenyan airlines as virus row abates

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
Tanzania lifts ban on Kenyan airlines as virus row abates

A picture taken through a window shows Kenya Airways planes parked at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on August 1, 2020. (Photo by Simon MAINA / AFP)

Tanzania again allows the entry of airlines from Kenya, after Nairobi removed passengers from Tanzania from its mandatory quarantine list

Tanzania on Wednesday, September 16, announced it was lifting a ban on several Kenyan airlines after Nairobi announced it would no longer impose a coronavirus quarantine on travelers from the country.

In the latest spat in a long-running diplomatic row between the East African neighbors, Tanzania last month banned the airlines after Kenya put passengers traveling from the country on a list of those who would have to undergo mandatory quarantine.

While Kenya imposed strict movement restrictions and other measures to curb the virus, Tanzania has come under fire for failing to take it seriously enough, and claiming that God was protecting it from the illness.

However, Kenya on Tuesday, September 15, backed down, exempting Tanzania from the quarantine.

“In view of that and on a reciprocal basis, the United Republic of Tanzania now lifted the suspension for all Kenyan operators namely Kenya Airways, Fly 540 Limited, Safarilink Aviation, and AirKenya Express Limited,” the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.

President John Magufuli’s refusal to impose lockdowns or social distancing measures, and to halt the release of figures on infections since late April, has made him a regional outlier and caused concern among Tanzania’s neighbors and the World Health Organization.

Magufuli declared Tanzania free of the coronavirus in June, thanking God and the prayers of citizens for defeating the disease.

The diplomatic spat between Kenya and Tanzania erupted soon after the outbreak of the pandemic in East Africa, when Kenya blocked Tanzanian truck drivers from entering the country, fearing they would spread the disease. – Rappler.com