Kenya lifts remaining COVID restrictions

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NAIROBI, March 11 (Reuters) - Kenya lifted its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, including a ban on large indoor gatherings such as religious services and a requirement to present a negative COVID-19 test for arriving air passengers.

Though Kenyans should continue heeding public health measures such as handwashing and social distancing, face masks are no longer mandatory in public and all quarantine measures for confirmed COVID-19 cases are halted with immediate effect, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe told a news conference.

For the past month the East African country's COVID-19 test positivity rate has remained below 1%, he added, attributing this to the rising number of Kenyans opting to get vaccinated.

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In November, the government announced that proof of vaccination would be required by Dec. 21 to access schools, transport, state offices, hotels, bars, restaurants, national parks and wildlife reserves. read more

But a court blocked the move amid uncertainty over who would police it or what to do about people unable to access vaccines. The minister did not mention the order in his remarks on Friday. read more

Kenya, with a population of 54 million, has recorded less than 35 daily COVID infections over the past week, according to government statistics. About 323,000 infections, and 5,600 deaths, have been recorded throughout the pandemic since 2020.

Nearly 29% of Kenyan adults are fully vaccinated, more than most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Reporting by Maggie Fick Editing by Mark Heinrich

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