Only 183 Kenyans living in China have registered to be evacuated back to Kenya.
This is according to Kenya’s ambassador to China Sarah Serem, who said majority of Kenyans residing in China have not yet purchased their air tickets home.
Serem on Friday announced that a Kenya Airways plane will leave Guangzhou in the Asian country for the Jomoe Kenyatta International Airport on May 8, 2020.
“As you are aware, the flight is a special arrangement that has been availed by the government of Kenya and that of China following the closure of airspace and cancellation of international flights as a result of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and in response to your distress to be facilitated to go back home,” Serem said.
The ambassador raised concern that Kenyans have failed to book the flight back despite the Chinese government giving amnesty to those with expired visas.
“We know that although 183 registered their desire to travel back home, very few have bought their tickets as of today (May 1). Kindly know that the Government of China has been so gracious to us, and they have extended an amnesty and issued exit visas to all those with an expired visa and overstays within the set timelines,” she intimated.
Serem further advised the Kenyans in China to obtain a Covid-19 health certificate before the return date to avoid any inconveniences.
“I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this gesture and arrangement as it will be very difficult to make a similar arrangement in the near future before the current situation normalizes, this might be the only opportunity available to those wishing to go home, and therefore you should make urgency to book and secure yourself a seat,” she added.
Those wishing to travel back to Kenya are expected to part with Sh 80,468 each for economy class and Sh123,291 for business class.
By Alice Victoria