Kenya restricts travel, services to those unvaccinated for COVID-19

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Nov. 22 (UPI) — In a new measure to slow the spread of COVID-19, health officials in Kenya will limit access to government services, hotels, restaurants, bars and other businesses for people who are unvaccinated.

The new rules start Dec. 21 to limit access to revenue, transportation, ports, immigration and education agencies. They will also limit access to hospitals, prisons, game parks as well as hotels, bars, restaurants and businesses, Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said in a press conference Sunday.

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“Those who have been vaccinated will not risk their lives serving those who have refused to be vaccinated. The key reason why all of us need to be vaccinated is to ensure that we keep the economy going,” he said.

Some 4.5% of the population in Kenya is vaccinated against COVID-19.

The country has reported 254,710 cases and 5,328 deaths.

Kagwe said the new rules would keep Kenyans safe from the virus during the holiday season.

Only people who have got both shots of the vaccines, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna or the single shot Janssen jab will have access to travel services.

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Drivers and boda boda riders will be required to ask for proof of vaccines before permitting travel.

The announcement came as COVID-19 cases surge across the globe.

Germany is facing a “national emergency” with record coronavirus infections, while Austria will enter into a nation wide lockdown due to deaths and rising cases.

The two nations are contributing to Europe’s 15% weekly surge in cases and 4% deaths — the only continent to rise in both categories.

Health officials ensured Kenya would not go back to harsh restrictions, and Kagwe noted that teenagers would be getting the vaccine next week, which would help increase the vaccination rate.