Nairobi: Lockdown in 5 counties lifted, curfew hours revised

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli during Labour Day celebrations at State House Nairobi on May 1, 2021. [Image: PSCU]
NAIROBI, Kenya– President Uhuru Kenyatta has lifted the travel ban in and out of five counties marked as COVID-19 high-risk zones, following a decrease in virus infections.

The President stated that the lockdown and cessation of movements, which affected Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado, and Nakuru, resulted in a 74% decrease in viral spread.

Speaking at the State House on Saturday during the Labour Day celebrations, the head of state also said the curfew within the Zones will revert to 10pm to 4am, effective midnight May 1.

“That the hours of curfew in the Zoned Area are revised to commence at 10:00pm and end at 4:00am, with effect from midnight on this 1st day of May 2021, until otherwise directed,” Uhuru said.

The President had on March 26 announced a cessation of movement into and out of the five counties, curfew within the zones had to run from 8pm to 4am, while for the rest of the country, the curfew was between 10pm and 4am.

Following the President’s new directive, bars and restaurants will now be allowed to operate until 7pm and will have to abide by the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 protocols.

“That the operations of restaurants and eateries in the Zoned Area shall resume in accordance with the guidelines issued jointly by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. Restaurants are encouraged to utilize outdoor spaces to maximize physical and social distancing,” he added.

The ban on in-person and congregational worship has also been lifted; places of worship have been directed to follow Ministry of Health guidelines while maintaining one-third capacity at various sessions.

Meanwhile, the ban on political gatherings will remain in effect until otherwise directed.

Hospitals across the country have been directed to limit the number of visitors to one per patient per day for hospitalized patients.

Uhuru also announced that schools will reopen this month as planned, amid concerns on whether schools would reopen with surging Covid-19 cases.

The president however warned that tough measures could be reverted if Kenyans do not cooperate by following safety protocols.

“If we fail to play our individual role like I said, like it or hate it, it is my responsibility to protect life first, we shall and will do everything that is necessary to prevent what we have seen happening in other countries, happen in our country,” he said.

Total confirmed cases in the country are now 159,318 and cumulative tests so far conducted are 1,669,552, according to the Ministry of Health.