Kenya Lifts Mandatory Wearing Of Face Masks In Public Space

By Ian Omondi For Citizen Digital 

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe addresses the press on March 11, 2022.

The Ministry of Health has announced a relaxation of the COVID-19 containment measures following relatively fewer cases as well as positivity rates over the past couple of months.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, in a press address on Friday, announced that Kenyans are no longer obligated to wear face masks in public places.

The CS, however, said that social distancing in these spaces must still be maintained and overcrowding avoided.

CS Kagwe also encouraged Kenyans to keep wearing their face masks during indoor meetings, where all attendees must have undertaken the jab.

“There has been a lot of debate and discussions on the continued use of face masks as one of the containment measures. The mandatory wearing of face masks in open, public spaces is now lifted,” he said.

“Nonetheless, people are advised to maintain social distancing and avoid crowding in public spaces to ensure risk of spread is limited. We, however, encourage the use of face masks in all indoor functions.”

He added: “All in-person indoor meetings to resume at full capacity of the venue as long as participants are vaccinated. All attendees should be encouraged to wear face masks.”

The CS further announced a resumption of in-person worship provided all congregants are vaccinated, however urging the Interfaith Council to develop a raft of measures to facilitate this.

“All in-person worship is to resume at full capacity as long as all the congregants and worshippers are vaccinated. The Interfaith Council is urged to develop protocols to facilitate resumption of full congregational worship with full capacity of venues where all congregants are vaccinated,” he said.

“It has been noted that majority of Covid-19 cases present themselves without fever. As such, the use of temperature screening in public spaces has little utility in current epidemiological scenarios. In this regard therefore, the practice of temperature screening at public spaces can be stopped.”

Kagwe stated that all quarantine of both the vaccinated and unvaccinated persons is to be stopped with immediate effect.

He added that positive asymptomatic cases need not isolate but just be observed for five days then allowed to return to work without the need for further testing.

Kagwe said all PSVs, trains and domestic airfreight services may resume at full capacity, however that the operators and staff must be fully vaccinated while all travelers should have face masks at all times during travel.

“Travelers who are fully vaccinated shall forthwith be exempted from the requirements of a PCR test. Children below the age of 15 are exempted in any event from this requirement,” he said.

“All eligible and vaccinated travelers arriving at any port of entry into Kenya must have a negative PCR test result conducted not more than 72 hours before departure regardless of the route of entry. Those below the age of 5 years are exempted from this testing requirement.”

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