02-05-2020 by Leni Frau
On 24 February an Alitalia flight from Rome to Mauritius was stopped and passengers were checked on board and after long negotiations they were able to continue their holiday, but in fact the African State stopped flights with Italy.
On 25 February the Italian National Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) warned all passengers with a statement on the Coronavirus emergency, which reads as follows: In light of the increase in the number of countries that in recent days have issued regulations for passengers coming from Italy to enter their territories, due to the spread of COVID19 (Coronavirus), the Italian Civil Aviation Authority advises those who are about to embark on an air trip to consult in advance the Viaggiare Sicuri websites of the Farnesina Crisis Unit, the Ministry of Health, section dedicated to COVID19 and invites passengers to contact the reference airline to verify the actual operation of their flight. From now on, the advice for almost all Italians is not to leave for holidays, to cancel or postpone and to travel only for unavoidable urgencies or work.
On 29 February in Italy we are in full emergency: there are 1049 active cases and already 29 dead, with a projected increase of a quarter of cases per day.
On March 1 Turkish Airways suspended flights with Northern Italy and this caused the first misunderstandings for those who have to return from Kenya via Istanbul.
On 3 March, the charter company NEOS suspended flights from northern Italy to Mombasa.
On 4 March also Qatar starts to drastically reduce flights to Doha and the Italy-Kenya connections.
On March 9 Zanzibar closes to all charters from Italy, as a consequence also Kenya sees future flights cancelled. For another week NEOS will return to pick up the tourists left in the two countries (Kenya and Tanzania).
On March 10 the Italian government announces the lockdown.
On March 13 Kenya Airways officially closes the Nairobi-Geneva-Rome flight: effective suspension at least until April 30, it says in the statement. The company announced that it would continue to operate to Europe, thanks to codesharing with KLM and Airfrance.
On the same day the Government of Kenya announced the first case of Coronavirus in the country.
On March 14 Ethiopian began to reduce flights from Addis Ababa to Italy, closing only on Milan.
On March 15, President Kenyatta announced that in the following 48 hours no foreign tourists will be allowed to enter Kenya and that Kenyan residents and citizens will have to observe the 14-day self-quarantine.
On March 19, the first communiqué from the Italian Embassy for the organization of a return flight arrives, they are asked to download a form to be identified.
On March 22, the Government announced that from March 25, Kenya's borders will be closed indefinitely. In these three days, Ethiopian, Qatar, Emirates, Egypt Air flights still operate with connection to Italy (more Rome than Milan).
On March 25th at 10pm, with connections still open between Malindi and Nairobi, the first return flight of the European Union from Nairobi to Amsterdam is organized, with the possibility of connections to Rome.
On March 29th the Italian Embassy in Kenya announces the organization of a commercial return flight from Mombasa and Nairobi to Milan Malpensa for March 31st.
On March 31 the Italian Embassy in Kenya announces the possibility of a special flight organized by the German Embassy in Kenya with departure on Friday, April 3, 2020 from Mombasa in the late morning and arrival in the evening of the same day in Frankfurt, with the possibility of connections to Italy.
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Kenya is closing its borders indefinitely.