The novel coronavirus (Covid-19), that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China on December 31, 2019, was declared a pandemic by World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, and has since spread to 216 countries, areas and territories globally.
On March 12, 2020, the Kenya government announced that all Kenyan nationals and foreign travelers coming into the country, would be required to self-quarantine for at least 14 days, and undergo PCR covid-19 testing.
Quarantine and isolation are public health practices put in place, to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease.
Self-quarantine is the act of separating oneself from others following possible or confirmed exposure to COVID-19, with the option of home or government approved facility quarantine.
Approval for home-based self-quarantine is through the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council.
Home based self-quarantine is currently only permitted for those who have a recent negative COVID-19 PCR test result (done within the last 7 days prior to arrival into the country). The medical council does not accept Covid-19 antibody testing.
Considerations are based on completed requests which must have:
1. Filled "request for self-quarantine" form where all the required details are given
2. The recent COVID-19 PCR test result (If written in a language other than English or Kiswahili, should be translated.)
3. Supporting documents e.g. copies of national passports, letters from the doctors, residence permits for foreigners.
It is advised that requests are made 2 – 4 days before the expected date of arrival and sent to:
The turn-around time for approval is 24 to 72 hours.
For staff members/ dependents who are unable to do their COVID-19 PCR testing, prior to arrival, they will be required to go to a government-approved quarantine facility and have the test done as soon as possible after arrival.
After receiving the results, it is best to forward the request for self-quarantine through the Ministry of Health clinical team lead assigned to the facility.
Isolation is the separation of an individual with a contagious disease (Covid-19), with or without symptoms, from healthy individuals.
The Ministry of Health launched the Home-based Isolation and care protocols for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic Covid-19 patients on June 10, 2020, developed in line with the World Health Organization Guidelines, in anticipation of a surge in the number of cases in the country.
Eligibility for home-based isolation and care includes:
- Laboratory Confirmed COVID 19.
- Asymptomatic patients or patients with mild symptoms of COVID 19.
- Absence of co-morbidities.
- Access to a suitable space for home-based isolation and care
Requests for approval for home isolation, are made through the Ministry of Health surveillance team assigned to the area of residence, through:
- Joint Medical Service
- Ministry of health team assigned to a hospital/ isolation and treatment centre.
The surveillance team then arrange for assessment of the home environment to determine suitability for home isolation, and following approval, the staff member would remain under the care of JMS/ MOH during the isolation period.
In the event the staff member or dependent’s condition worsens and may require admission to a hospital facility, they are advised to get in touch with JMS through the 24-hour hotline number 0724255378.
Note: Requirements are liable to change or be modified by the relevant government departments, always ensure to confirm the latest requirements prior to travel.