President Kenyatta lifts cessation of movement for Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties

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President Uhuru Kenyatta during a State House function.Courtesy State House.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday announced that the cessation of movement that impeded entry into and out of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera counties shall lapse on on Tuesday at 4 am.

Nationwide curfew was extended by a further 30 days.

“By re-opening Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera, we are more at risk than we were when the restrictions were in place. We must, therefore, exercise cautious optimism, and avoid reckless abandon,” he said.

However, the State may move to reverse reopening if Covid-19 trends become worrying.

“Should the situation deteriorate and pose a challenge to our health infrastructure, it shall be ‘clawed back’. In the next 21 days, we shall study patterns of interactions and the spread of the disease. Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we will have no choice but to return to the lock-down at zero-option.”

Places of Worship

Worship centres will also commence phased reopening in strict conformity with all applicable guidelines. However, he noted that no congregants under 13 or over 58 years should be allowed.

Those with underlying health conditions have also been cautioned against congregating to worship.

Sunday Schools and Madrassas will remain suspended until further notice.

Transport Sector

Local air travel shall resume July 15 under Ministry of Health and Transport guidelines.

International travel on the other hand will resume August 1.

On the roads, public service vehicle (PSV) operators will require certification from the Ministry of Health to operate out of areas previously under cessation of movement.

“Conscious that movement of people is a catalyst for the spread of the disease, there shall be no movement of public transport vehicles into and out of the areas previously under cessation of movement restrictions, without the public transport providers being compliant with all protocols developed by Ministry of Health,” Mr Kenyatta said.

Public Health vs Economy

The president noted that in announcing a phased reopening of the country, he and his team had to make tough decisions that balanced what was good for the economy and what made sense amid a public health crisis.

“Have we as a country met the irreducible minimum? Are we ready to reopen? According to experts we have not yet met irreducible minimums a 100 percent. But we have met a reasonable level of preparedness across our counties,” he said Monday.

“After much reflection, my administration opted for the health argument over the economic argument. More so because we can always revive an ailing economy; but we cannot bring back to life those who die from this pandemic. And with this as our chosen path, we set out to build the irreducible minimums.”