Uhuru To Take Mandatory COVID-19 Test Before Entering London

The delegation will be required to undertake a PCR [Polymerase chain reaction] test, the most advanced of the three main tests for COVID-19 which reveals whether someone has the virus in the early stages of their illness. 

Uhuru To Take Mandatory COVID-19 Test Before Entering London

President Uhuru Kenyatta and other Kenyan delegates will need to undergo COVID-19 tests before flying out to London, United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 27.

The delegation will be required to undertake a PCR [Polymerase chain reaction] test, the most advanced of the three main tests for COVID-19 which reveals whether someone has the virus in the early stages of their illness. 

Britain explained that it would be keen to protect Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Royal Family, who will be expected to interact with the Kenyan delegates during the three-day visit.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the former's visit to UK in January 2020. /PSCU 

The UK still retains Kenya on its Red List alongside other nations and barred their citizens from travelling to the country to avert COVID-19 transmissions. British citizens returning from the countries must undergo 10 days of mandatory quarantine in hotels. 

“Whole delegation took a PCR test. They are exempt from quarantine as with the G7 earlier this year, and other major diplomatic events and summits you’ve seen in other parts of Europe too,” a top UK official told Business Daily

The UK travel ban has added woes to more than 50 countries freezing access to Kenyans in the global race to protect nations against new variants of the coronavirus. In May, Kenya had lifted the ban on flights between Nairobi and London and eased restrictions imposed in retaliation to its inclusion in the Red List. 

The UK has categorised countries into a green, amber and red lists, each carrying different degrees of restrictions for arrivals. A British citizen travelling from a Green List for instance is not required to undergo mandatory quarantine. 

President Kenyatta received the AstraZeneca vaccine on Friday, March 26, during live TV coverage. He finally surrendered to persistent calls from Kenyans to lead by example, stating that the move would encourage them to take the all-important injection amid rising COVID-19 cases. 

Earlier, the president had ordered members of his Cabinet and senior staff in his executive office to take the jabs as a way of encouraging public uptake.  

President Kenyatta called upon his officials to lead by example and get the COVID-19 jab in an effort to ramp up the rollout of the national vaccination program. 

"Some Kenyans have formed certain theories about vaccination and its effects. Although vaccination is free-of-charge and no one will be forced to get it, some education about it is crucial,” Uhuru stated. 

Uhuru will be in the United Kingdom for three days where he and Johnson will chair the Global Education Summit which aims to raise $5 billion (Ksh500 billion) to educate children worldwide for the next five years.  

Prime Minister Johnson will host the President at Chequers, his country residence in Buckinghamshire, for bilateral talks, before the two host the official welcome reception for the Global Education Summit, which will focus on Kenya-UK health partnerships through COVID-19, as well as on cancer prevention and treatment. 

Uhuru will also be expected to shore up investments in terms of the Big Four agenda projects after attending an event at West London’s Kew Gardens, to celebrate the Kenya-UK Year of Climate Action, and Kenya’s leadership on climate change in Africa ahead of the COP26.

President Uhuru Kenyatta receives the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on March 26, 2021. /FILE