Victor Shitakha, the Kenya Coast Tourist Association (KTCA) chair has called out the government over guidelines requiring the display of Covid-19 certifications by Kenyan hoteliers.
He says this discriminates against the tourism industry and should be abolished immediately.
Shitakha lashed out at the COVID-19 regulations for Kenya’s hospitality industry for the past two years.
He said that it led to the collapse of several businesses.Speaking recently at a conference attended by members of the industry, he argued that the Ministry illegally enforced the law against the industry.
This was while failing to do the same for other sectors, including the political sphere which remains unregulated. The KTCA now wants the Health ministry to declare the COVID-19 regulations for the industry invalid.
“We would like to ask the Ministry to scrap it out but if they want to continue, then they also ask all these rallies to give out certificates before the rallies,” Shitakha remarked.
‘We would want to propose that the Ministry halt this practice, but if they insist on maintaining it, they should require that all of these protests hand out certifications prior to the rallies,’ Shitakha added.
KTCA says many people cancelled their hotel reservations when the directive was issued.
“They chose from December 21 when all hotels were busy. The coast was just beginning to pick up from Lamu to Shimoni hotels were full. We are talking about 90 to 100 per cent of occupants. Immediately after the directive had been given, people started cancelling. Big hotels had cancellations.”
Shitakha said that easing regulations will eradicate the fear of decimating an already suffering industry.
He further stated that the industry was not opposed to vaccination. It was against cumbersome methods used in implementing it.
Shitakha contended that because it was not mandated by the Constitution, people should not be obliged to comply.
“We are not against vaccination, what we are saying, even President Uhuru Kenyatta said it, that you are not obligated; it is a choice,” he noted.“Telling me that I cannot go to a supermarket or a place because I am not vaccinated, is discrimination and against the constitution of this country.
With the pandemic, Africa travel was altered in a huge way. However, since the beginning of 2021, restrictions for travelling to Kenya and the rest of Africa eased up.
Travellers are only required to provide a PCR-based COVID-19 negative certificate. The test must be done at least 72 hours before departure in all countries.