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Kenyans with long-term EU Visas exempted from travel ban

Kenyans with long-term Schengen visas will be allowed to enter European Union countries as the block prepares to reopen its external borders.

The exception comes after EU announced that only travelers from 15 countries have been cleared to travel to the 31 EU member countries, which began reopening their borders on Wednesday.

BORDERS REOPENED

The EU last week released two lists, one for those that will be accepted, and one for those who will not.

This is after the bloc failed to agree on a common list of the countries that would be banned from entering the block upon the border reopening.

Kenya is not among the 15 countries that include the UK, Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, and Morocco. Others are New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.

EU deemed the 15 nations ‘safe’ from Covid-19 pandemic based on various factors including their response to Covid-19, the ability to apply containment measures during travel, and whether they have lifted travel restrictions towards the EU.

COVID-19 CASES

According to Euronews, EU officials failed to agree on a common list of the countries that would definitely be banned from entering the block upon the border reopening but managed to create a list of the countries with a better epidemiological situation, the citizens of which will be able to enter Europe by the end of next week.

On Friday, EU Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue said some Kenyans will be able to travel to Europe despite the ban.

“It is important to note that the EU borders are not closed for essential travel. This includes Kenyans who are long-term residents in the EU or who hold national long-term visas, as well as their respective family members,” Mordue stated.

He added that for a country to be cleared, it must show a projection of a decrease in Covid-19 cases which should not be more than EU’s 14-day average number of new infections per 100,000 people, currently at 16.

As of Saturday, there were 7,577 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Kenya, 2,236 recoveries, and 159 deaths.