Kenyans have been forced to revised their travel plans following Friday’s move by the government to bar the movement of people into and out of Nairobi and four other counties.
Traditionally, Kenyans travel upcountry from the Capital so as to be with their loved ones during the Easter period but that will likely not happen this year as President Uhuru Kenyatta has barred people from moving out and into Nairobi, Nakuru, Kajiado, Machakos, and Kiambu.
That said, there was a mad rush for a section of passengers in Nairobi on Friday evening.
Hundreds of commuters jammed Latema road within Nairobi’s CBD where Naivasha and Nakuru-bound shuttles matatus operate from.
“Within an hour after President Kenyatta addressed the nation, we booked more than 15 vehicles which have since left. As you can see we do not have any more vehicles yet there are still passengers who want to travel out of town,” a matatu Sacco representative told the Nairobi News.
With the new set of travel rules, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala says tourists in different parts of the country who wish to travel back home via Nairobi have until Monday mid-day to do so.
He clarified that domestic flights between other parts of the country and Nairobi will cease operating on Monday, which implies that tourists on transit into Kenya but had planned to tour places outside Nairobi have until mid-day on Monday to finish their trips or risk being confined.
Meanwhile, budget airline Jambojet has added a flight on its Nairobi-Mombasa route so as to meet an increase in demand for travel between these two cities.
“Due to the rising demand of passengers returning back home, we have added an additional flight between Nairobi and Mombasa this evening,” it said in a statement on Friday.
Kenya Railways also announced changes in both the Madaraka Express Passengers Service and the Nairobi Commuter Rail services operations.
In a statement via social media pages, the parastatal announced the Madaraka Express Passengers Services will run normally on Saturday and Sunday between 8am and 6pm and on Monday until noon, after which the services will be halted until further notice.
Kenya Railways also informed commuters that the passenger service between Nairobi terminus and Suswa will run over the weekends.
Kenya Airways has also added more flight capacity ahead of the Monday deadline when domestic flights will be suspended in five counties.
The National Carrier increased the number of flights between Nairobi to Mombasa and Nairobi to Kisumu. Today (Saturday), KQ will have four flights – two flights from Nairobi to Mombasa and Mombasa to Nairobi.