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UK, France and Germany Issue Travel Advisories Against the US

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orlKenyans have this habit of complaining whenever Western countries issue travel advisories.

The advisories were particularly frequent at the height of Al Shabaab attacks inside the country.

Countries like the UK, France and the US which have traditionally provided most tourists, were seen by many Kenyans as always looking for small issues so that they can warn their citizens against visiting.

It is now emerging that issuance of advisories is just procedure to inform their citizens of risks, and Kenya may not have been unfairly targeted. Actually, when you visit UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, there is some advisory on every country.

At least 3 countries in Europe have cautioned its citizens traveling to the United States of America.

Governments of UK, France, and Germany plus Australia and even neighboring Canada have issued several advisories regarding the US.

Some of these are xenophobia – without referencing presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim visitors, homophobia, gun violence and Zika virus.

The French and German governments have warned their citizens about gun violence in the US, where recent mass shootings include a massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, left 49 people dead.

The German Foreign Affairs wrote on their website that it is ‘relatively easy’ to obtain guns in the US, advising citizens to be careful.

Britain’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office wrote: ‘The US is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people differ hugely across the country.

‘Transgender travelers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the state of North Carolina.’

The British have also advised in regards to Florida, a destination popular for Disney World and other theme parks – as having a ‘moderate risk’ for Zika virus transmission.

As of today (August 16), this is the current UK travel advisory against Kenya as copied from their website.

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FCO 285 - Kenya Travel Advice Edition 16 [WEB]

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to

  • areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border
  • Garissa County
  • the Eastleigh area of Nairobi
  • Lamu County and those areas of Tana River County north of the Tana river itself
  • within 15km of the coast from the Tana river down to the Galana (Athi-Galana-Sabaki) river

The area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel does not include Kenya’s safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies; including the Aberdare National Park, Amboseli, Laikipia, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Meru, Mount Kenya, Samburu, Shimba Hills, Tsavo, nor does it include the beach resorts of Mombasa, Malindi, Kilifi, Watamu and Diani. Mombasa

Mombasa Airport (Moi International Airport) and Malindi airport are not included in the area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel.

You need a visa to enter Kenya. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport or before you travel. To minimize time spent queuing at the airport, get a visa before you travel.

You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. For other types of visa, apply at the nearest Kenyan High Commission or Embassy. For more information on different types of visas see the website of the Kenya High Commission.

There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping. The main threat comes from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group that has carried out attacks in Kenya in response to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia.

There have been a number of attacks in Kenya in recent years, particularly in Mandera County and other areas close to the Somali border.

There is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks in Nairobi and the coast and resort areas of Mombasa and Malindi. See Terrorism.

In May and June 2016 political protests in Kisumu turned violent. Further political protests in Nairobi, Kisumu and other parts of Kenya may occur in the lead up to August 2017 elections.

You should take care in public places where people gather, and exercise a heightened level of vigilance. Monitor local and international media and keep up to date with this travel advice bysubscribing to email alerts.

There are frequent incidents of violent crime including mugging, armed robbery and carjacking, particularly in the large cities. See Crime

There is a threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. See Sea travel

117,000 British residents visited Kenya in 2014. Most visits are trouble-free.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

Additional Reporting by Daily Mail

Source: Nairobi Wire