However, on Tuesday, March 22, Russia issued a statement noting that the ban had been lifted and Kenyans can apply for visas to visit the country.
According to the Russian embassy in Kenya, previously imposed restrictions that included Kenyan students studying in Russia were also removed.
Kenyans can now apply and get their visa at the Embassy’s Consular Section.
“Dear Kenyans! According to the Decree of the Russian Government, previously imposed restrictions (including those related to Kenyan students studying in Russia) on entry to Russia, have been removed. You can now apply and get your visa in the Embassy,” the Embassy stated.
“Meanwhile, the Decree of the Russian Government that enlists the categories of foreigners who are allowed to travel to Russia is still in force,” it added.
Kenya was among the countries affected by the Russian Decree which denied entry to foreigners from certain countries due to the influx of Covid-19 and the discovery of the Omicron variant.
“Due to the detection of Omicron, a new Covid-19 variant, in several countries, the task force for preventing the importation and spread of Covid-19 in the Russian Federation has temporarily restricted entry to Russia (including via third countries) for nationals and permanent residents of the following countries: South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Eswatini, Tanzania, Hong Kong and Kenya; as well as foreign nationals who visited the above countries within 14 days before arriving in Russia,” Russia stated.
The lifting of the travel restrictions by Russia comes in the background of eased Covid-19 restrictions by the Kenyan government. Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, announced the easing of the measures on Friday, March 11.
He noted that Kenyans will no longer be required to wear masks in public places but will be required to do so when visiting government offices or using Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).
The government further put a stop to quarantine, meaning that persons thought to have contracted the virus will not be forced to isolate.
CS Kagwe also announced the resumption of full in-person worship for vaccinated persons. As for international travellers, the CS noted they will not be required to present vaccination certificates before being allowed into the country.
The Health CS explained that the decision to drop the containment measures follows a series of observations, research, and a drop in the infection level in the country. He, however, noted that the measures would be reviewed at any time.