The Kenyan government has announced the suspension of an agreement that grants visa-free entry for Pakistan nationals.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday observed that some of the passengers allowed entry into Kenya from Pakistan have been taking advantage of the visa-free agreement to violate COVID-19 quarantine regulations.
This follows a significant spike in the number of persons travelling from Pakistan en route to Saudi Arabia and other destinations, through Kenya.
“The Government of Kenya regrets that some of these passengers are taking advantage of Kenya’s status with these countries with regard to the COVID-19 quarantine regulations. This threatens to undermine Kenya’s agreements with these countries which are put in place to ensure continuation of business and travel operations between our countries,” the ministry says in a letter to the High Commission of Pakistan in Nairobi.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry adds: “Kenya is hereby stopping the visa-free transit arrangement with Pakistan… Till further notice, Kenya will require visas for passengers from Pakistan to Kenya.”
The ministry further warned that those who fail to secure a visa will be turned away and required to leave the country immediately upon arrival.
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry has ordered an immediate crackdown on foreigners who are in the country illegally owing to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The government will restrict the number of foreigners transiting through the country to levels that do not pose a risk to Kenya’s national interests,” the govt said.
Interior Principal Secretary Dr. Karanja Kibicho added that the operation will be undertaken by the Department of Immigration and the National Police Service.