Covid-19: CDC cautions Americans against travelling to East Africa

Thursday December 03 2020

A model of the Covid-19 coronavirus. PHOTO | STR | AFP

By The EastAfrican

The United States government has warned its citizens against travelling to various East African countries to avoid the risk of contracting the coronavirus.

In its updated list, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Wednesday cautioned against travel to East Africa, assigning Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi Level 4 alert, meaning there is very high level of Covid-19 in these countries. Only Rwanda has a Level 1 alert, which means there's a low level of the virus.

The CDC says travel to the region could expose US citizens to the risk of getting infected by the deadly virus that has been blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide.

It said such trips should be avoided at all costs and that, in case one must travel, then they must adhere to the health protocols on Covid-19.

“Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19,” the CDC said in a statement on its website.

When the first cases of the disease were reported in the countries, Kenya Uganda and Rwanda announced lockdowns and strict measures to curb the spread of the disease after the first cases were reported.


Tanzanian authorities ruled out the possibility of locking down the country or enforcing Covid-19 guidelines, while Burundi also did not enforce strict measures.

CDC, in its statement, urged travellers to get tested one to three days before travel, and that only after receiving the results should one be allowed to leave the country.

Those travelling back to the US will also be tested one to three days earlier and will be required to follow and adhere to the Covid-19 regulations.

“During travel, wear a mask, stay at least six feet from people who are not travel-ling with you, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, and watch your health for signs of illness,” CDC said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to capture the situation in other East African countries.