By Sharon Atieno
With the coronavirus pandemic requiring travelers to produce negative COVID-19 certificates at various points of entry, Kenya is implementing an online system to authenticate and verify the certificates in line with the guidelines of the Trusted Travel Initiative (TT).
This has been done through a collaboration between the Kenya Ministry of Health, the African Union and Africa CDC, with the technical support from PanaBIOS.
According to a statement by the Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, travelers should first visit an authorized laboratory to take an RT PCR COVID-19 test and be issued with Trusted Travel (TT) codes that can be verified by airlines and Port health authorities.
“The travelers will receive a text message (sms) from PanaBIOS and in addition an email from the testing laboratory and/or from firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to guide the traveler to generate a Travel Code at trustedtravel.panabios.org,” the statement reads.
“ If a test result meets the exit and entry requirements of Kenya and a traveler’s destination, a Travel Code (TC) is then issued to the traveler online.”
In Kenya all RT PCR COVID-19 testing laboratories have been onboarded to the TT system.
However, in-bound travelers from countries yet to onboard to the Trusted Travel Initiative will use a tool made available through the UNDP-supported Global Haven partnership (www.globalhaven.org) for COVID-19 test results and vaccine certificates verification, the statement notes.
All travelers departing from Kenya will be expected to have the TT code on the test result certificates.
As from 11, January,2021 no traveler will depart from Kenya without verification of their certificates using the TT process, the statement cautions.
Further, since 9, January, 2021, no laboratories are allowed to issue COVID-19 certificates without TT codes.
While encouraging citizens to cooperate and comply, the statement notes that due to the collaboration between the AU bodies, UN institutions, technology companies, telecom operators and standards organizations the digital services are delivered at no cost to citizens or related government agencies.