The Ministry of Health has announced strict new rules that will see proof of vaccination required to access government services and entertainment joints in Kenya from December 21, 2021.
The move which has sparked mixed reactions is meant to drive up Covid-19 vaccine uptake with only 8.8% of the population having gotten the jab. High rates of hesitancy to take the vaccine have been reported across the country.
But with the Christmas festivities approaching, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe insists that the requirement is necessary to ensure the country meets its vaccination targets.
“Everybody seeking in-person government services should be fully vaccinated and have proof of vaccination by December 21, 2021,” Kagwe stated on Sunday, November 21.
Proof of vaccination will be requested alongside other documents such as National I.D and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) pin when seeking a range of services. Kagwe stated that the services include, but are not limited to;
- KRA services
- Hospital visitation
- P****n visitation
- National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) services
- Port Services
- Supplying goods and services to the State
- 0pening accounts with financial institution
- Payment of deposits for power connection
- Underwriting of insurance policies
- Customs clearing
Kagwe also noted that without proof of vaccination, individuals will be denied access to public transport, hotels, nightclubs and other crowded venues ahead of Christmas, when partying and travel is usually the order of the day.
Drivers of matatus and boda bodas will also be required to show proof of vaccination.
“I want to let Kenyans know that next month drivers, and boda boda riders will be required to ask that you show proof of being vaccinated before you can travel,” Kagwe added.
Kagwe failed to disclose how exactly the restrictions would be implemented in Kenya. The introduction of vaccine passports and access restrictions for unvaccinated individuals have attracted opposition from pro-freedom campaigners in countries including France, the US and the UK, with critics arguing that governments should not force their citizens into taking the jab.
Those in support of the restrictions, however, note that Covid-19 is a public health issue accusing the unvaccinated of endangering others.