The first confirmed COVID-19 case was reported on March 14, 2020. The government adopted a number of containment measures, including social distancing and heightened restrictions in most non-essential social spaces to gatherings; encouragement of teleworking where possible; establishment of isolation facilities; declaration of night curfew and limitations on public transportation passenger capacity. Some of the containment measures have since been relaxed. Domestic flights commenced on July 15th, 2020, while international flights commenced on August 1st, 2020.

All international arrivals have to undertake specifically a SarsCoV2 RT PCR Swab test, failure to which they will be quarantined for two weeks. Test results notwithstanding, passengers from selected countries are required to undergo fourteen-day quarantine. A resurgence of infections in a second wave led to the reversal of some of the relaxed measures.

Physical participation in places of worship is capped with an age limit of 65 years to take a maximum of 90 minutes – down from two hours. Attendance at weddings is limited to 50 people down from 200 people. While the funeral attendance limit remains 200 people, those allowed at the graveside are only 15. Schools re-opening were in phases and were fully reopened on January 4, 2021.

An initial Covid-19 vaccine deployment plan put out by the ministry of health targets 30 percent population coverage by mid-2023, with two-thirds of the vaccines expected to be provided by GAVI/COVAX and the remainder procured by the government. The first phase of deployment, which aims to cover 3 percent of the population by end-June 2021, would focus on frontline health workers. The first batch of the vaccine covering 0.5 percent of the population arrived in the country in early March 2021.

A rapid resurgence of infections in March 2021 led to a reversal of relaxation measures introduced in mid-2020. On March 26, the authorities re-imposed containment measures in Nairobi and four neighboring counties, including a ban on movement in and out of the area; cessation of in-person meetings, worship, and dining; closure of bars; extension of curfew hours and withdrawal of curfew passes; directing employees to work from home; sending the Parliament on recess; and closing schools and universities again (primary and secondary schools had started planned 7-week recess the week before).

In the remaining counties, physical participation in places of worship, funerals, and weddings is allowed with restrictions on the number of participants. The easing of cases from the recent third wave’s peak led to the relaxation of some containment measures on May 1, 2021. Cessation of movement in and out of the five zoned counties was lifted; bars to operate until 7 pm; schools re-opened; suspension of sporting and recreational activities lifted.