Kenya, Tanzania resolve to shorten clearance period for visitors

Friday, August 6th, 2021 00:00 |
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe (left) with his visiting Tanzanian counterpart Dorothy Gwajima, yesterday. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

Kenya and Tanzania yesterday agreed to shorten the period of clearing travellers across the two countries to less than 72 hours. 

The two governments have reviewed their diplomatic policies to harmonise the period in which visitors with Covid-19 laboratory certificates will be cleared.

They agreed to reduce bottlenecks hampering trade development for East Africa’s biggest economies.

Currently Kenya subjects visitors with PCR certificates to 96 hours clearance before allowing them into the country, while those entering Tanzania are held for 72 hours.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his Tanzanian counterpart Dorothy Gwajima endorsed the move to reduce the time spent on clearing visitors  into the two countries on grounds that it is long, tedious and unnecessary for business to thrive.

“The areas we have tackled include cross border issues that involve citizens of both countries such as transport, Covid-19 testing and validation systems for those leaving and entering both countries among other issues,” Kagwe said during a joint press conference at Afya House.

Kagwe and Gwajima met at the ministry headquarters shortly before the briefing. It followed Tuesday’s roundtable session between the Permanent Secretaries of health of both countries.

Kagwe said both governments were acting on recommendations drafted during the meeting of the health PSs for discussion and adoption including from other subsequent deliberations.

“Following the meetings, we have resolved several issues pertaining to the fight against Covid-19 which are contained in a joint communiqué,” he noted.

The CS said it was necessary to evaluate the containment measures that affect trade between the two countries. 

 Kagwe said Kenya and Tanzania have also explored other areas of collaboration in the fight against malaria, polio and other diseases.

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