By Uganda Online Media
The Government of Kenya has lifted the mandatory negative Covid-19 results as a requirement for its cargo truck drivers to enter the country,
Kenya which has this week announced the lifting of almost all covid-19 control measures including wearing of face masks in public places has thus urged other East African Community member states to do the same.
The revelation was made by Kenya Transport Association to its members after the Kenyan cabinet meeting on Friday, a development which was warmly welcomed by East African transport companies and drivers.
“To the EAC secretariat, the ministers of health- Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, South Sudan, and Tanzania, we thank the government of Kenya for removing the mandatory requirement of negative Covid-19 test results for fully vaccinated truck drivers entering Kenya,” reads part of the statement by KTA to its members.
According to KTA, the government of Kenya has given its reasons for removing this requirement and believes that the basic parameters observed in Kenya in relation to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation are being replicated in the East African community region.
Mr. Newton Wang’oo’, the chairman of the transport association of Kenya welcomed the lift pointing out that the EAC governments have always worked with harmonized Covid-19 protocols to facilitate uniform requirements when drivers cross the borders to deliver essential goods in the region.
“We, therefore, respectively ask the EAC countries to vacate the mandatory requirement to present a negative Covid-19 test result for all fully vaccinated truck drivers crossing all borders in the EAC region,” he said
Reports indicate that a total of 42,344 trucks crossed into Uganda from Kenya and 37, 769 trucks crossed into Kenya from Uganda in February.
Kenya also urged the EAC partner states to facilitate trade while protecting the EAC citizenry through increased vaccination efforts.
The development by Nairobi also follows a recent protest against the mandatory COVID-19 testing by Uganda which paralyzed traffic at Malaba’s one-stop border post for weeks.
The protest prompted a ministerial meeting of line ministries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan where it was resolved that Uganda should allow all truckers with negative Covid-19 results from member countries to continue with their journey.
“Resolution by Ministerial-level meeting held on 10 January to resolve the impasse at Kenya borders with Uganda resolved that Ministry of Health Uganda to recognize Kenya results uploaded in the Regional Electronic Cargo and Drivers Trucking System (RECDTS),” the communique from the meeting read in part.
The Ministers agreed that Ugandan authorities conduct antigen tests for free to all drivers who were held in the jam.