Kenya’s Ministry of Health has announced that anyone not vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 21 will be refused in-person government services and access to public gatherings, parks, hotels, restaurants, and bars.
Kenyans have less than one month to get the COVID-19 vaccine or risk losing the right to access in-person government services.
Minister for Health Mutahi Kagwe Sunday announced new measures aimed at nudging vaccine-shy citizens towards getting the jab before the end of the year.
“We must take cue from the rest of the world and learn from them. A worrisome epidemiological picture is emerging in European countries like the Netherlands, Austria, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Australia, and the USA, where new COVID-19 surges are being observed despite successful vaccination campaigns,” he said.
The Kenyan government says the move is aimed at ensuring that the country meets its target of vaccinating at least 10 million people by the end of the year.
Currently there are about 6.5 million doses of the vaccine that have been administered since the vaccination kicked off, with only 2.4 million people fully vaccinated, or less than 10% of Kenya’s adult population.
“We are given sufficient time for people to go through this exercise so that post [December] 21st people then don’t start accusing police of harassing them,” said Kagwe.
The announcement of the new measures, yet to be implemented, come as the country gears towards a peak in holiday-related travel and public gatherings, sparking fears of a resurgence in the spread of the virus that has been on a downward trend in recent months.
The measures will also limit non-vaccinated people from visiting entertainment spots, hotels and restaurants, as well as hospitals. They unvaccinated will also be limited in their access of public transport systems, including air and rail transport.
A ten-day COVID-19 vaccination drive to help get as many people on board as possible begins this Tuesday across Kenya.