President Uhuru Kenyatta has lifted the ban of movement in and out of the Nairobi metropolitan area and the counties of Mombasa and Mandera which had been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

“I order and direct that the cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area, Mombasa County and Mandera County shall lapse at 4am tomorrow,” said Kenyatta.

Addressing the Nation at Harambee House, President Kenyatta said the country has met a “reasonable level of preparedness” to handle the COVID-19 pandemic hence his decision to partially reopen the country.

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He has however extended the 9pm-4am countrywide curfew for the next 30 days.

All public transport providers operating in the three areas that were on lockdown will however require approval from the Ministry of Health on compliance of safety protocols.

“There shall be no movement into and out of areas previously under movement restrictions without the public transport providers being compliant with all protocols developed by the ministry of health. To operate PSVs, the operators will require mandatory certification from Ministry of Health, in consultation with ministry of Transport,” said Kenyatta.

Meanwhile, he warned that the order to reopen had been made conditionally, noting that should the situation get worse over the next 21 days, the country will revert to lock-down.

“Should the situation deteriorate and pose a challenge to our health infrastructure, we will have to revert to lockdown.

In the next 21 days we shall study patterns of interaction and spread of the disease. Any trends that signal a worsening of the pandemic, we shall have no choice but to return to lock down at zero option,” said President Kenyatta.

He urged Kenyans to exercise “cautious optimism and avoid reckless abandon” noting that following the reopening of Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera borders, the transmission risk will be much higher.

“By reopening Nairobi, Mombasa and Mandera we must be cognizant that we are much more at risk than when the restrictions were at risk. we must therefore exercise cautious optimism and avoid reckless abandon,” said Kenyatta.

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