East Africa

Kenya firms face trouble for clients not vaccinated


Summary

  • Health Chief Administration Secretary Mercy Mwangangi on Wednesday said that all organised events, hotels, bars, supermarkets, banks will only admit fully vaccinated citizens.
  • Kenya has seen coronavirus resurgence with a rapidly rising caseload since confirmation of the highly infectious Omicron variant in the country last week.
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By BONFACE OTIENO


Hundreds of businesses risk losing their trading licences for admitting non-vaccinated customers under new rules that seek to boost uptake of the jabs and bring the pandemic under control in Kenya.

Health Chief Administration Secretary Mercy Mwangangi on Wednesday said that all organised events, hotels, bars, supermarkets, banks will only admit fully vaccinated persons to keep infection rates lower, warning that non-compliance will attract withdrawal of operating licence.

Kenya has seen coronavirus resurgence with a rapidly rising caseload since confirmation of the highly infectious Omicron variant in the country last week.

The positivity rate — the ratio of positive tests — rose from 29.6 percent on Monday to 29.7 on Wednesday, which is among the highest levels since Kenya recorded the first coronavirus case on March 12 last year.

The new directive is coming barely a week after the High Court temporarily suspended a Ministry of Health directive seeking to bar unvaccinated people from accessing in-person services in government offices.

“If you attend a wedding, funeral, organised party, conference, sports, indoor theatre, dance, liquor tasting room, bar, banking halls, supermarkets, trains, PSVs, all government offices and parastatals, you will be required to show proof of vaccination,” said Ms Mwangangi.

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“In the event of non-compliance action shall be taken, which may include the withdrawal of the license of the institution. Each facility shall be required to nominate someone to verify the vaccination certificates.”

Those who fail to take vaccines will also be denied access to public transport, game parks, government offices and other crowded venues ahead of Christmas festivities.

Ms Mwangangi did not offer details on how Kenya will implement the need for a Covid-19 pass as many countries across the globe increasingly implement the rule as a way of opening up and letting people travel.

These passports are usually accessed via an app on mobile phones or, in some cases, paper versions are available.

All visitors from Europe must be vaccinated and show proof, she said.

The US is seeking workers at private companies with more than 100 employees to get fully vaccinated In Indonesia those not fully vaccinated face sanctions, including fines and the suspension or delay of government services.

France bars the unvaccinated access to restaurants, cafes and other places.

The government had set a target of vaccinating 10 million Kenyans by the end of the year. Only 9.2 million people have received a Covid-19 jab and 3.7 million people have received two jabs.

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