Hotel lockdowns for pilots and crew as international flights resume
Pilots and crew members flying into the country will not be allowed to leave their hotels or rooms except for emergency reasons when international travel restarts on August 1.
Strict health protocols published by the Ministry of Tourism in conjunction with that of Health show that only hotel room service meals and drinks will be allowed to flight crew members in the facilities.
“To ensure that risk of exposure to crew members through contact with local population is minimised, the following measures will apply; at the resting facilities (hotel) the crew members shall not be allowed to leave the hotel facility or rooms except for emergency reasons,” the Magical Kenya Tourism and Travel Health and Safety Protocols state.
It is not clear if the strict rules will apply to the national career Kenya Airways crew members.
KQ, as is known by its international code, struck a deal with the government that will see its crew flying back into the country not forced into mandatory quarantine.
The airline’s crew, who have been operating cargo and repatriation flights, had to be subjected to a 14-day quarantine at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines.
The new protocols, tabled in the Senate by Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala require airlines to transport their crew to hotels or other places of accommodation by ensuring a minimum separation of one seat between crew members.
“The airline shall ensure that crews do not share the transport with any passengers or other airline crew,” the rules, aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic states.
The rules require that the crew hotel rooms should be disinfected prior to being used.