Kenyans will be barred from bars, restaurants and public transport from 21 December if they are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe says.
The measures are aimed at increasing the rate of vaccinations ahead of the festive season.
Less than 10% of the population is currently vaccinated – about 6.4 million people.
This gives more 20 million adults in Kenya just a month to get vaccinated.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is the most commonly used vaccine in Kenya and the two doses required to be fully vaccinated are supposed to be given at least six weeks apart.
Mr Kagwe did not explain how these hurdles would be overcome but did say that a 10-day vaccination campaign would begin from 26 November and hoped to vaccinate 10 million people by the end of December. Kenya’s total population is about 50 million, at least 40% of whom are children.
Despite the concerns that some African countries have a shortage of vaccines, the Kenyan government is confident that it has enough for its inoculation campaign.
It has so far administered only 6.4 million jobs out of the 10.7 million it has received.
It is expecting a further eight million doses.
In a statement, Mr Kagwe said Kenya had seen a decline in Covid cases over the last two months, with a positivity rate over the last 14 days ranging from 0.8% to 2.6%.
“The current decline in the number of new infections may be attributed to a build-up of immunity both through natural exposure to the disease and the ongoing vaccination exercise. Nonetheless, we know that it’s not yet time to celebrate.
“We know that during the festive periods many of the known measures against the virus such as social distancing can easily get overlooked as people make merry,” Mr Kagwe added.
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