The Kenyan government on Sunday announced that they are working on the possibility of evacuating Kenyan nationals who are stranded in the UK amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
A statement by Kenya’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Manoah Esipisu confirmed the evacuation plans and mentioned that the Kenya Airways has given 211 as the minimum number of passengers for whom a chartered flight can be arranged.
Manoah also clarified that any Kenyan national who would wish to travel back to the country should be able to pay for their air ticket and will be subjected to 14-28 days mandatory quarantine as per the government’s guidelines at their own cost.
“The Kenya High Commission London is in continuous communication with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters in Nairobi about the fate of some Kenyans who may be stranded in the UK due to flight cancellations occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are working on logistics for a possible evacuation flight from Londons Heathrow to Nairobi.” Reads statement in part
In addition to the statement, the government has also urged those in need of the announced services to reach out to them.
Beyond the evacuation plans, Mr. Manoah has been keen to express the interest of the government in ensuring that Kenyan communities in diaspora particularly in the UK receive the support they need amid this pandemic.
In a tweet on his official twitter account, he revealed that he was in constant communication with student leaders in the UK.
“Reached out to Kenyan community and student reps in the UK to discuss their welfare as they grapple with the impact of COVID-19. We are working with communities to support those in distress, and working with business to keep wheels of trade open” reads tweet
This announcement on airlifting Kenyans from the UK comes a day after the embassy of Kenya made it known that Kenyans in China will be evacuated at their own cost and only if they are free of Coronavirus.
Although some have welcomed this announcement citing that Kenyans In UK and China finally have a chance to come back home, others have faulted the government citing that the measures in place are strict and inconsiderate.