Govt’ temporarily lifts ban on flights from Italy, allows just one more empty flight

Govt' temporarily lifts ban on flights from Italy, allows just one more empty flight

The Kenyan Government has temporarily lifted the ban on flights from Italy and will be allowing just one more flight amid fears of the deadly covid-19 epidemic.

The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health Mutahi Kagwe said an empty flight from Italy is expected to land in the country to repatriate 800 Italians marooned in Malindi by the ban.

“We have temporarily lifted the ban so that one more flight comes to Kenya to lift those who were locked in Malindi, 800 of them, but no one will disembark from that plane,” He said

Kagwe noted that no one would be allowed to disembark from the flight which would take off with only the affected nationalities.

On Tuesday, the CS announced that his team had suspended flights specifically from Verona and Milan to the Kenyan coast.

The announcement came after consultations with the Italian Embassy in Kenya and other stakeholders.

The Kenyan north coast has in previous times been nicknamed “little Italy” on account of the high volume of Italian visitors to the region.

The ban spells doom for Kilifi, Malindi and Watamu which are popular tourist destinations especially with Italians.

However, on Friday, during a press conference, the CS said the government was fully aware that coronavirus would affect tourism in Kenya and dent the economy which partly relies on tourism for revenue.

Consequently, he noted that the government is currently holding talks with the World bank on how the plunge on the economy would be mitigated.

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