COVID-19 Information

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COVID-19 Information

Last updated:  [01/29/21]

*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel.  Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of COVID-19 recovery in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Country-Specific Information

  • As of January 28, 2021, there have been 100,323 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kenya, with 83,691 recovered patients and 1,751 related deaths.
  • Bars and restaurants must close by 9:00 p.m., effective November 4, 2020.
  • Mandatory wearing of masks in public remains in effect.  The government will not provide services to individuals not wearing a mask.
  • Places of worship may begin phased re-opening in conformity with applicable guidelines developed by the Inter-Faith Council.  The permitted maximum size of religious gatherings is increased to one third (1/3) of its normal sitting capacity.  The maximum number of persons permitted to attend funerals and weddings is reviewed upwards to 200, with all in attendance abiding with Ministry of Health Protocols.
  • Domestic air travel resumed on July 15, 2020 under Ministry of Health and Transport guidelines.  International flights resumed on August 1, 2020. 
  • All grade levels resumed in-person learning on January 4, 2021 under heightened health and safety measures.  Some universities and colleges opened in-person instruction in September 2020 after meeting strict COVID-19 regulations.
  • There are no inland border crossings except for commercial trucks.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Kenya?  Yes, PCR testing is widely available.  We expect antigen tests to be increasingly available during 2021.
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours?  Yes, but turnaround times vary outside of major metropolitan cities, and it will be important to confirm the turnaround time with each lab.
  • Testing is available at the country’s major hospitals (Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital) and private laboratories (Lancet laboratories, Meditest diagnostics).  The charge for the test is approximately USD 100 (KES 10,000) at private health facilities and USD 50 (KES 5,000) at government hospitals.  Test results are typically available within 24 – 96 hours depending on laboratory and location.
  • For information on limited humanitarian exemptions to CDC’s requirement that all U.S. bound travelers present a negative COVID test, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html 
  • Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when the country of departure lacks adequate COVID-19 testing capacity.   To submit information in support of an exemption, email NairobiCDCWaiver@state.gov

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Kenya approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  Yes
    • The Kenyan Ministry of Health has ordered 24 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and expects to receive the doses in mid-February.
  • The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Click here for information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination. 

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter?  Yes
    • Arriving U.S. passengers are permitted to enter if the following conditions are met: 1) The passenger does not have a body temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F); 2) The passenger does not have a persistent cough, difficulty breathing or other flu-like symptoms; 3) The passenger has a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test conducted within 96 hours prior to travel.   The Kenya Ministry of Health is planning to launch the Trusted Travel (TT) Initiative:  https://africacdc.org/trusted-travel/.  Please visit the Kenyan Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 website or call the COVID-19 hotline at 719 for updated information.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry?  Yes
    • All passengers arriving in or transiting through Kenya must have a negative PCR COVID-19 certificate for a test conducted within 96 hours prior to travel.  The Kenyan Ministry of Health is planning to launch the Trusted Travel (TT) Initiative:  https://africacdc.org/trusted-travel/.  Once this system is implemented, U.S. citizens who do not have such a test may be refused boarding or denied entry to Kenya.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for exit?  Yes
    • The Kenyan Ministry of Health is planning to implement policies whereby outgoing travelers must obtain a negative COVID-19 certificate in accordance with the trusted Traveler (TT) Initiative (https://africacdc.org/trusted-travel/) and the PanaBios system (www.panabios.org) if their transit or destination country requires it.  Travelers who intend to depart Kenya must first visit an authorized laboratory (according to the government of Kenya, all PCR COVID-19 testing laboratories are now part of the TT system), obtain a negative PCR COVID-19 test, and be issued a TT code verified by airlines and immigration authorities.  All COVID-19 testing laboratories, starting on January 9, 2021, must use the TT process when issuing COVID-19 testing certificates.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry?  Yes
    • Port Health forms can be found at the Ministry of Health website or the Jitenge Ministry of Health mobile application.  Visitors must scan the QR code from this application on entry.  Travelers are encouraged to complete this in advance as Wi-Fi connections may be unreliable upon arrival.
    • The Government of Kenya established an online portal to extend visitor and resident visas.  Please see: https://fns.immigration.go.ke.  Please note that the Directorate of Immigration Services has lifted an earlier amnesty on stay in Kenya over the six months stipulated visa period.  Visitors on overstayed visas from September 14, 2020 are required to make arrangements to depart within 14 days or apply for residency (permit or pass).
    • Please be advised that effective January 1, 2021, all passengers are required to apply and obtain an e-visa before boarding an inbound aircraft to Kenya.  The e-visa can obtained through http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html
    • Due to the rapidly- evolving situation, please check with your airlines, transit countries, and final destination on the most updated travel requirements (such as mandatory COVID-19 tests).

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place?  Yes
    • Nightly curfew hours from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. are in effect up to March 12, 2021.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel?  No

Quarantine Information 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine?  No
    • U.S citizens coming from the United States are exempted from quarantine.  Please call the COVID-19 hotline at 719 or contact the Kenyan Embassy in Washington D.C. at http://kenyaembassydc.org/ for more information.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating?  Yes
  • Is public transportation operating?  Yes
    • Individuals using public or private transport are required to wear a protective mask.

Fines for Non-Compliance 

  • Those violating the curfew may be arrested and put in mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

Consular Operations

  • Routine American Citizen Services are suspended.  To submit a request for emergency service please email Kenya_ACS@state.gov
  • The United States Embassy in Kenya remains unable to resume routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services at this time.  If you have an urgent need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ke/niv/information/niv to request an emergency appointment.
  • Please be advised that all entrants to the U.S. Embassy are subject to body temperature screening and may be refused entry if displaying an elevated temperature.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi covers Somalia’s consular district.  For COVID-19 related information in Somalia please consult the U.S. Embassy Somalia’s COVID-19 website found here.

Local Resources:

  • Kenya Ministry of Health: Twitter: @MOH_Kenya, Facebook: MinistryofHealthKE, website: http://www.health.go.ke/
  • Report any suspected cases to the Kenya Ministry of Health hotline numbers: 0800 721 316; 0732 353 535; or 0729 471 414.
  • View U.S. Embassy Kenya’s Most Recent Alerts.
  • Other links: