COVID-19 Update (28 August)

29 Aug 2020 / Mombasa

Latest Government/Health Notice


Kenya's number of declared corona Virus cases rose by 373 to reach 33,389 on Thursday 27th/Aug after analysis of 4663 samples in 24hrs manifesting an infection rate of 8%. This positivity rate is still high compared to WHOs benchmark of less than 5% sustained for 14 consecutive days for the curve to be said to be flattening. The Cumulative samples tested since the onset of the pandemic in Kenya nowstands at 438,193. A total of 567 have so far succumbed translating to a fatality rate of approximately 1.6%. A total of 18,895 people have recovered to-date. All of Kenya's 47 counties have confirmed COVID-19 positive cases. The MOH has reported that 89% of the recorded cases in Kenya are asymptomatic. The first COVID-19 positive case was reported in Kenya on 13th March 2020.


As from April 04th all persons are required to were protective Masks covering the mouth and nose while in public places, PSVs and S/Malls are also required to have sanitizers to be used by all before boarding / entering the respective facilities until further notice.

Local News

Local Flights

Local air travel was suspended indefinitely as from 06th.April 2020. The services resumed on JULY 15TH with TWO daily flights initially however due to increasing demand the flights have been increased to THREE with adjusted timings from Mombasa at 0950hrs, 1450hrs and 1850hrs whilst from Nairobi take-off is at 0800hrs/1000hrs, 1300hrs and 1700hrs. The flight time between the two cities is ONE hour. The Ministries of Health and Transport guidelines for flights include (a) Check-In time of 2hrs as opposed to 1hr there before, (b) Protective face masks must be worn at all times and social distancing to be observed during check-in and at the lounges (c) Hand sanitizers are available at strategic points at the airports but advisable to have own (d) Passengers are subject to quarantine in government facilities (e) Passengers must not have flu or corona virus symptoms, (f) Passengers encouraged to check-in online, with detailed information to allow for contact tracing (g) Passengers whose body temperature is 37.5 and above not be allowed to travel, (h) Full body scanners are used to reduce physical contact and allow use of biometrics, (i) Airlines required to provide material on conduct aboard aircraft.


All schools and higher learning institutions in Kenya were closed on March 20th 2020. On March 27th the Government imposed a countrywide dusk to dawn curfew (7p.m to 5a.m). The Nationwide curfew was on the 7th June extended for a further 30 days but with revised hours 9pm to 4am. This directive was extended for an additional 30 days on July 6th. The nationwide curfew was on 27th/Jul extended for another 30 days with all bars ordered to remain closed until further notice. On 26th/Aug, the Government extended the curfew and order on bars and night clubs to remain closed was extended by 30 more days. Restaurants were however allowed additional operating time and will now be closing at 8.p.m with permission to liaise with the public health in coming up with self-regulating measures on the sale of alcoholic drinks their clientele. On July 6th, the Government announced that prohibition against social and political gatherings is extended for an additional 30 days. This order was on 27th/Jul extended for another 30 days, with exception of weddings and funerals where only a limited number will be allowed which have now been revised to 100 pax (as from 27th/Aug from the initial ceiling of 15 pax. Places of worship were from the 06th July allowed to begin phased re-opening with a maximum of one hundred (100) participants allowed at each service lasting not more than hour with congregants age limited to between 13 and 58 years. All learning institutions in the country are still closed with no clear re-opening dates. The ministry of Education had earlier this month hinted at January 2021 for basic education institutions and September 2020 for colleges and universities after meeting strict COVID-19 regulations put in place by the MOH. However latest reports indicate that very few institutions of higher learning are ready dimming any hopes of re-opening by September this year.


Inter county movement restrictions for Kwale and Kilifi counties were lifted as from 7th.June.2020. The cessation of movement order IN/OUT of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties was lifted on July 7th. PSVs moving IN/OUT of these areas will be required to acquire mandatory certification from the Ministry of Health in consultation with the Ministry of Transport.Likoni ferry schedule has now been revised giving pedestrians more vessels during the morning and evening rush hours. The new schedule starts at 0415 - 0500hrs with both pedestrians and vehicles allocated ONE ferry each, 0500 - 0800hrs THREE ferries for pedestrians and ONE for vehicles, 0800 - 0930hrs TWO ferries for pedestrians and TWO for vehicles, 0930 -1530hrs ONE for pedestrians and TWO for vehicles, 1530 - 1700hrs TWO ferries for each category, 1700 - 1930hrs THREE for pedestrians and ONE for vehicles and finally 1930-2045hrs ONE for pedestrians and TWO for vehicles. Additional intervention measures at the ferry include pedestrian walkthrough disinfection booths placed on either side of the channel with strict distancing rules in place to prevent crowding.


We have made arrangements so that crucial staff based in south coast are working from home or have moved to temporary accommodation in town.


Companies are being requested to work from home to reduce interaction. Accordingly, Kenya office is on 50% work force on rotation


Uganda declared lockdown that began on 31st March night. It has now been lifted with PSVs back in operation but with strict social distancing seating arrangements. Movement of Transit cargo trucks across the border is now happening round the clock but only upon presentation of a valid COVID-19 free certificate / turning out negative upon testing at the border point for all the drivers and crew. Those that turn out positive are not allowed entry and instead put in isolation wards in hospitals around Busia and greater western Kenya for management. The stringent control protocols put in place to arrest cross border spread has from time to time led to heavy traffic snailups resulting to slow transit cargo operations and truck turnaround time.



27 positive cases were reported in the first phase of targeted testing in port. 4 cases tested positive in the second Phase of targeted COVID-19 testing in week 21 and 6 positive cases in week 22. All personnel who tested positive during the 1st two phases of the mass targeted testing in port have recovered. Owing to the shortage of kits and re-agents that led to the suspension of the targeted mass testing in port, only persons exhibiting symptoms are now being tested in hospital. During week 25 symptomatic testing resulted to 26 new cases. Early week (wk 33) 2 new cases were detected and put-on home-based care. Earlier this week (wk 34) 01 new case was reported bringing the total covid-19 positive cases to 66 since the first case was reported. The 66th patient port succumbed on 19th/Aug rising the total fatalities at KPA to 03.


In an effort to contain the spread of the disease, Auxiliary service KPA staff were earlier sent on paid leave and others encouraged to work from home primarily documentation and finance documents. In operations, Older members of staff and those with pre-existing medical conditions are still at home indefinitely.


KPA DOCUMENTATION PROCESS:With KPA Documentation and Finance staff working remotely, it has led to some delays in receipt of manifests & delivery orders approvals for cargo billing. Thus payments of cargo related charges needs to be done as early as possible to give the skeleton staff working ample time to process the payments and reflect them on the systems.


KRA DOCUMENTATION PROCESS : No physical interaction allowed with KRA officers. Therefore documents are dropped and can only make phone calls to follow up. This has slowed the documentation process for shipping and clearing Agents which slows down manifest / C11 approvals and cargo clearance in general preventing cargo from discharging as all conventional imports are direct delivery.


PORT ACCESS: In mitigating the spread the Security Department re-formatted the bio-metric gate access by use of the valid port pass only without having to use the index finger as was the case before. We have further found out that one does not have to press the card onto the machine which would also pose a risk of surface contact, the biometric reader picks the port users details and allow access by just aiming at the reader from a distance without having to press onto it, a fairly good measure of control.


KPA has seen a reduction in the number of container vessel calls as well as conventional vessels.


KPA staff are meant to be working on a two shifts basis as per KPA notice, but stevedore labour is still working on 3 shifts. The 3rd shift is often short of gangs as staff feel at risk owing to curfew laws. And there is growing concern over shortage of gangs during days shifts as staff may choose to self-isolate.


On April 24th KPA issued notice indicating measures in place to ensure operations continue uninterrupted at the port of Mombasa.


KPA gates are open 24/7 including during curfew time.


KPA announced an extension of free storage period for transit & Export containers starting from 18.05.2020 for a period of 90 days, after which the extension will be revised. Attached to email.

Trucking activities


Trucking services are considered ''essential services'' declared under Gazette and so far have been conducting business with minimum harassment by Police. Cargo movement is allowed between counties.


All transit cargo drivers to produce COVID-19 certificate before entering either of the port facilities namely Mombasa's Kilindini Harbour, ICD Nairobi and ICD Naivasha. (Please request notice from us if required).

International Flights


On March 25th, the Government suspended all International passenger flights IN/OUT. On July 06th, the Government announced will resume as from 1st August. International flights resumed on August 1st with the Ministry of Transport announcing some protocols to ensure that travel remains safe during the pandemic. (1) Passengers will be required to present COVID-19 negative certificate on check-In for a test that will have been taken at most 96hrs prior to the flight time to Kenya. Any passenger exhibiting signs / with a temperature of more than 37 celcius is subject to mandatory test / quarantine in a government facility or monitored self-quarantine; (2) Passengers travelling out of Kenya will be required to abide by the particular travel, health and COVID-19 related requirements of the destination country; (3) Passengers arriving or departing on flights after the curfew, with a valid Air Ticket and Boarding Pass shall be allowed to proceed to their hotels and /or residences; In addition, it is now a mandatory requirement for all passengers arriving in Kenya to fill in the Travellers Health Surveillance Form by the Ministry of Health in Kenya. Forms must be filled online via ( registration/) link prior to disembarkation. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form and will be required to display it to the Port Health Official for them to be allowed to proceed to arrival immigration.

Kenyan Visa


The Immigration department has advised all passengers requiring a Visa to enter Kenya, will need to apply ONLINE. Visa application on arrival into Kenya will also be done on-line. Cash payments for Visas on arrival will NOT be allowed. Visa cards will be accepted. Any passenger denied entry into Kenya will be sent back to the origin on the first available flight.

Crew Change

Crew change is now allowed and happening as from August 1st subject to conditions stipulated in the Government guidelines shared earlier

(For information about operations in Kenya, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at [email protected])

Source: Seaforth - GAC agent

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