Kenya scraps mandatory mask-wearing in public
Kenya said Friday it was scrapping a requirement for people to wear masks in public as part of an easing of Covid-19 restrictions in place for two years.
The announcement comes as rates of Covid infection in the East African nation have dropped to one percent or less over the past month, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe said.
“The mandatory wearing of face masks in open public spaces is now lifted,” Kagwe said in a statement, while encouraging the continued use of masks at indoor functions and for social distancing in public places.
Fully-jabbed spectators will be allowed back into sporting venues and all in-person worship can resume at full capacity as long as those attending are vaccinated, he said.
The minister also announced the lifting of the requirement for PCR tests for fully-vaccinated travellers to Kenya, although unvaccinated visitors will have to take antigen tests and self-isolate if positive.
A total of 5,644 people have died of Covid out of 323,160 infections in Kenya since the first case was recorded in the country on March 12, 2020, according to official figures.
Kagwe said measures introduced in Kenya since the start of the pandemic had saved the country from “catastrophe” but warned: “This, however, is not to say that we are already completely out of the woods.”
Almost 29 percent of adults in Kenya have now been vaccinated, according to the latest government data.