There has been a high number of Pakistani nationals spotted in estates in the Athi River and Nairobi. The Government of Kenya maintains these Asian Nationals have valid Transit Visas to Saudi Arabia issued on arrival. The government has also learned some of these passengers are taking advantage of Kenya’s status with these countries about the COVID-19 quarantine regulations. They are jeopardising Kenya’s agreements with these countries, put in place to ensure the continuation of business and travel operations between the countries.
Concerns were raised that some passengers allowed entry into Kenya from Pakistan had taken advantage of the visa-free agreement to violate COVID-19 quarantine regulations to the High Commission of Pakistan in Nairobi by the ministry of foreign affairs. Stating in the future, the Government will restrict the number of foreigners transiting through the country to levels that do not threaten Kenya’s national interests.
The influx of travellers has raised concerns in the diplomatic circles on the potential of these arrivals ruining the existing bilateral arrangements on Covid-19 management.
The government maintains that any passenger from Pakistan who fails to secure a visa before arriving in Kenya will be turned away and required to leave the country immediately upon arrival. The government is also expected to restrict the number of foreigners transiting through the country.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Interior Principal Secretary Dr Karanja Kibicho said the operation will be undertaken by the Department of Immigration and the National Police Service. “In the last four (4) months, Kenya has witnessed a surge in the number of foreign travellers transiting through our international airports. The Kenyan Government is, however, alarmed by the threat of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic posed by the influx of foreign travellers transiting through the country,” reads the statement.