Kenya lifts lockdown but extends curfew for 30 days
However, the President has extended the nationwide curfew currently in place between 9 pm and 4 am by another 30 days.
NAIROBI, Kenya – President Uhuru Kenyatta has lifted the ban of movement in and out of the Nairobi metropolitan area and the counties of Mombasa and Mandera which had been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
“I order and direct that the cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area, Mombasa County and Mandera County shall lapse at 4 am tomorrow,” said Kenyatta.
Addressing the Nation at Harambee House, President Kenyatta said the country has met a “reasonable level of preparedness” to handle the COVID-19 pandemic hence his decision to partially reopen the country.
He has however extended the 9 pm-4 am countrywide curfew for the next 30 days.
All public transport providers operating in the three areas that were on lockdown will however require approval from the Ministry of Health on compliance of safety protocols.
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“There shall be no movement into and out of areas previously under movement restrictions without the public transport providers being compliant with all protocols developed by the ministry of health. To operate PSVs, the operators will require mandatory certification from the Ministry of Health, in consultation with the Ministry of Transport,” said Kenyatta.
Meanwhile, he warned that the order to reopen had been made conditionally, noting that should the situation get worse over the next 21 days, the country will revert to lock-down.
“Should the situation deteriorate and pose a challenge to our health infrastructure, we will have to revert to lockdown.
In the next 21 days, we shall study patterns of interaction and spread of the disease. Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we shall have no choice but to return to lockdown at zero option,” said President Kenyatta.
He urged Kenyans to exercise “cautious optimism and avoid reckless abandon” noting that following the reopening of Nairobi, Mombasa, and Mandera borders, the transmission risk will be much higher.
“By reopening Nairobi, Mombasa, and Mandera we must be cognizant that we are much more at risk than when the restrictions were at risk. we must, therefore, exercise cautious optimism and avoid reckless abandon,” said Kenyatta.