FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR TRAVELLERS/CUSTOMERS

Important information before you travel

It is important to contact your trusted KATA travel agent to establish if there are entry restrictions or self-isolation procedure on arrival, or any other measures that need to be complied with in the destination you are planning to visit or whether you are required to comply with quarantine measures on arrival back into Kenya.

Travelers need to keep in mind that the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing, and travel is not risk-free. Changes and disruption to travel is still possible. It is important that obtain accurate advisory from your trusted KATA travel agent on the local coronavirus protocols you will need to follow.

Will Covid-19 Free certification be a requirement for all travelers?

Yes. Most countries require testing for travelers. IATA recommends that testing is done prior to getting to the airport and at least 24 hours before travel.

Is there a list of countries (Destinations) which have the C-19 test as mandatory?

Most countries are developing their air travel resumption protocols and hence the list of countries requiring C-19 testing is growing. KATA shall circulate a comprehensive list in due course.

Will the Covid-19 test be carried out both in the country of departure and arrival?

This is different for various countries. Please check with your KATA certified travel agent on the respective countries requiring the Covid-19 certificate.

Who will cater for the costs of Covd-19 tests?

The Covid-19 tests costs are borne in full by the traveler. Testing must be done 72hours prior to departure at a government approved facility.

Where will travelers be getting their COVID-19 Free certificates from?

Any traveler can get a Covid-19 health certificate from any recognized government approved facility such as Mbagathi Hospital, Aga Khan Hospital, M.P. Shah Hospital, Lancet etc.

Cancellation and refunds

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has disrupted travel to various destinations due to the restrictions that have been put in place by various governments. Certain countries have suspended air travel with a view to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Why has my refund application taken too long to process?

KATA certified travel agents have been doing all possible to process refunds for cancelled travel itineraries with airlines. Airlines have been processing refunds in the form of vouchers – EMD (Electronic Miscellaneous Documents) issued under the name of the traveler for use in future travel. This entitles you to re-book your travel to a future travel date up until the expiry date of the voucher.

What is an Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD)?

  • An Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) entitles you to rebook your air ticket up until the expiry date of the document.
  • An EMD retains the financial value of your money based on the eligible refund value as per the fare rules for the air ticket you had purchased.
  • Airlines issue EMDs with certain terms and conditions. It is important to read and clearly understand these conditions.

If you booked for travel and cannot go ahead as planned, you are entitled to a refund if the airline had cancelled its flights on your scheduled date of travel.

We completely understand that for those customers that would prefer a refund to rebooking, you may be frustrated and concerned by the amount of time it is taking. In normal circumstances a refund should be paid within 14 days.

But these circumstances are extraordinary, and it is impossible for the travel agents to process the refunds back as quickly as they would like to as many have not received money back from the airlines and hotels.

Your travel agent will pass on any refund they receive from these companies as soon as they receive it. KATA and its member agents have been working very hard pursuing refunds on your behalf towards ensuring that this is resolved at the earliest.

 

Resumption of travel advice for customers

The coronavirus pandemic has been unprecedented, and it has led to a lot of uncertainty in the travel industry. The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) certified travel agents have been working collaboratively with airlines, IATA and the government of Kenya to prepare for safe resumption of travel for customers.

KATA certified travel agents have been trained extensively on the new travel protocols required to be fulfilled before travel, during travel and post travel for various worldwide destinations. We encourage customers to obtain accurate advice from these agents as they make their arrangements for their travel both domestic and international. Customers need to keep in mind that the coronavirus pandemic situation is live, and hence travel protocols will continue to be updated on a regular basis. Please visit https://katakenya.org/travel-agents/ for the full list of the KATA certified travel agents.

In recognition of the many questions that travelers will have with the resumption of travel, we have set out a series of Frequently Asked Questions and answers within the sections below:

  • Domestic travel
  • International travel
  • Cancellation and refunds

The KATA certified travel agents are available on call and on emails, and they are on standby to respond to your specific questions or requests.

Domestic travel

The government announced that domestic travel will resume on 15th July,2020, and the travelers must comply with the outlined travel protocols. The protocols are intended to safeguard travelers’ health, while building confidence amongst travelers on their travel plans.

Passengers are encouraged to book through their trusted KATA travel agent in order to obtain the latest updates on the travel protocols for domestic flights.

International outbound travel

The government announced that international travel will resume on 1st August,2020, and the travel must comply with the outlined travel protocols. International travel will continue to evolve for airlines, travelers and travel agents, and flexibility will be required at all times.

KATA certified travel agents have the full list of countries and territories that various nationalities are allowed or exempt from travelling into during this coronavirus pandemic. This is based on the assessment that has been done on the risk level for the people travelling abroad.

Some countries have issued specific entry restrictions that need to be complied with and each country will have their own specific requirements on local coronavirus protocols that will need to be followed.

 

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR TRAVEL AGENTS

  1. Will Covid-19 Free certification be a requirement for all travelers?

Yes. Most countries require testing for travelers. IATA recommends that testing is done prior to getting to the airport and at least 24 hours before travel.

  1. Is there a list of countries (Destinations) which have the C-19 test as mandatory?

Most countries are developing their air travel resumption protocols and hence the list of countries requiring C-19 testing is growing. KATA shall circulate a comprehensive list in due course.

  1. Will the Covid-19 test be carried out both in the country of departure and arrival?

This is different for various countries. Travel Agents are advised to check with respective countries embassies for accuracy of information.

  1. Who will cater for the costs of Covd-19 tests?

The Covid-19 tests costs Kes.1,100/- at Kenyan government facilities and comes at a premium cost at private (Government approved) facilities.

  1. Do Travel agents Need new licenses that certify that their offices are COVID-19 Protocols compliant?

No.

The newly launched protocols, require travel agents to only ensure that their core staff have an initial COVID-19 test.

  1. Where will travelers be getting their COVID-19 Free certificates from?

Any traveler can get a C-19 Free certificate for any recognized government approved facility such as Mbagathi Hospital, Aga Khan Hospital, M.P. Shah Hospital, Lancet etc.

  1. The protocols require that the FRONTLINE staff must be tested. Who are the frontline staff in a travel agency?

Any staff that handles guests directly such as meet-and-greet staff, airport transfers staff, receptionists etc.

  1. How often should Frontline/ Core staff be tested?

The Recently launched protocols Section3.9.1; provide that Staff shall have valid covid-19 free certification for core staff not more than 14 days old from a recognized government approved facility at the first time and subsequently maintain Covid-19 prevention guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and relevant agencies.

  1. Who bears the cost of testing travelers and staff?

The cost of a traveler is being borne by the government.

Employee/Staff testing cost is borne by the employer.

  1. Page 14, Section 2.4.2 of the protocols states that the government through the ministry of Tourism and wildlife shall; Provide financial relief to the sector through the reduction or exemption of taxes, refurbishment funds for tourism facilities and other establishments.

What incentives or financial reliefs are in place for travel agents?

Other than the stimulus fund which we are constantly engaging the Tourism Fund Corporation to ensure Travel Agents are involved, we do not have any other financial relief in place currently.

  1. How exactly should travel agencies develop training modules in collaboration with medical officers?

KATA is working on industry training modules and sourcing for qualified medical officers to conduct the membership at the lowest cost possible. KATA will be updating on this in due course.

  1. Travel Agents operations and services protocols as defined on Section 4.3.2 will come at an extra cost to already ailing travel agents’ businesses, they are tedious and agents that are unable to comply may never open their businesses. Is there anything that can be done to minimize the protocols

No.

KATA advocates for health first and urges members to try as much as possible to comply, as much as the protocols may frustrate the resumption of businesses, they are key for ensuring staff are safe. It is better to have slowed down business than to have a sick society.

Compliance is the only way we shall have our businesses running.

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