he regional logistics stakeholders have applauded the move by the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Kenya to ease Covid-19 protocols. The move comes amidst a significant reduction in the number of COVID19 cases in the region.
A statement by Tanzania’s ministry of health, on 16th March 2021, outlined several measures to be observed by truck drivers before crossing into Tanzania.
“All truck drivers including the crew should hold a valid negative COVID-19 RT PCR or NAATs certificate obtained from an accredited/approved national laboratory. The validity of the certificate shall be 14 days.” The statement partly read.
Truck drivers including crew will also be subjected to enhanced health screening at points of entry and will either be isolated or quarantined at the designated facilities at their own cost if they are suspected of COVID-19 infection.
In case a driver of a crew is isolated or quarantined while on transit, the truck owner or operator will be expected to make necessary arrangements to back up their crews to ensure that goods are delivered to the intended destination.
The government of Tanzania also assured truckers that the RT PCR testing will be conducted free of charge.
“The easing of Covid-19 protocols provides some relief to the logistics industry and will significantly reduce costs incurred by sector players as the sector struggles with escalating fuel prices. We urge other EAC Partner states to follow the example of Kenya and Tanzania” said FEAFFA President Mr. Fred Seka.
Kenya recently eased the Covid-19 protocols, a move propelled by the low positivity rates that have been experienced in the country and the region. The Cabinet Secretary of Health Mutahi Kagwe announced that fully vaccinated truck drivers will not require any other documents including the non-requirement of the PCR Test before crossing into Kenya. The unvaccinated truck drivers will on the other hand present the negative COVID-19 PCR test with a validity maximum of 14 days prior to travel.
Mr. Seka also appealed to other EAC Partner States to emulate Kenya and ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated persons within the regional.
According to Seka, this will encourage more logistics sector players to get vaccinated against Covid19.
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