KENYA – Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has scrapped the mandatory wearing of face masks in open public places as rates of COVID-19 infection in Kenya have dropped to one percent and below over the past month.

Earlier on, the Ministry of Health was performing regular reviews of COVID-19 outbreak containment based on guidance from the World Health Organization on Public Health considerations and the evolving epidemiological situation globally.

The health ministry enforced measures ranging from quarantine, isolation, travel restrictions, restrictions on gatherings and enforcement of wearing of masks in public places in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.

On gatherings, the government has announced that all in-person worship can resume at full capacity as long as all the congregants and worshipers are vaccinated and fully-jabbed spectators will be allowed back into sporting venues.

He further called on the Ministry of Education to develop and implement protocols to allow for the full resumption of sporting activities in learning institutions.

The Interfaith Council is expected to develop protocols to facilitate resumption of full congregational worship with full capacity of venues where all congregants are vaccinated against COVID-19,” noted Mutahi Kagwe.

He cautioned event organizers against having unvaccinated people present at events stating that if the requirement isn’t adhered to, the organizers are to be held responsible.

In addition, quarantine for vaccinated and unvaccinated contacts has been halted in Kenya but temperature screening in public spaces will continue which have been in place for the last two years helping to save thousands of lives.

The Health Cabinet Secretary also declared the lifting of the requirement for PCR tests for fully-vaccinated travelers to Kenya but unvaccinated visitors will be subjected to antigen tests at their own cost of US$50 and required to self-isolate if positive.

However, travelers at points of entry will still be required to fill in full the locater form on the ‘Jitenge’ platform while truck drivers will not require any document including a PCR test to move around the country.

Public service vehicles, train and domestic air flight services have now been allowed to resume carrying passengers at full capacity as long as the operators ensure their staff are fully vaccinated and travelers must have their face masks on during the course of travel ,” revealed Kagwe.

Mutahi Kagwe further urged Kenyans to continue maintaining social distance and avoid crowded places even in public spaces while encouraging the use of masks in all indoor functions to ensure risk of coronavirus spread is limited.

Kenyans are advised to keep on adhering to the Public Health and Social Measures including exercising personal responsibility since the very low COVID-19 transmission recorded is due to the cooperation of people particularly in taking up vaccination

He emphasized that the measures may be reviewed at any time based on prevailing pandemic situations while warning police officers not to harass Kenyans over the revision of COVID-19 measures.

He also appealed to Kenyans who have not been vaccinated to get vaccinated noting that the ministry has enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines for all eligible Kenyans.

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