Last night while out to dinner at Jabula Lodge & Restaurant, having our usual great time, commiserating with owners Dawn and Leon and other guests, and also savoring a predictably fabulous dinner, I heard a notification ding on my phone. Although I have only a few app notifications set up to alert me, I took a peek to find this article:
“Kenya imposes new lockdown – What are the restrictions?
Kenya has imposed a new lockdown to combat a surge in coronavirus infections.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday announced a ban on all inland travel in the capital Nairobi and four other counties.
Kenya’s Covid-19 positivity rate has jumped from 2% to 22% between January and March, and Nairobi accounts for nearly 60% of the cases- Kenyatta said that hospital admissions had increased 52% in the past two weeks and that at least seven people are dying every day from coronavirus.
What do the new measures mean?
No road, rail, or air transport will be permitted in Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos, and Nakuru.
In-person meetings will also be banned.
As for curfew, hours now start at 20:00 until 04:00 am (instead of 22:00 until 04:00 am`) in the five counties. Special passes that allowed people to travel during curfew hours have also been revoked.
Alcohol sales in the areas have also been banned, and restaurants can only provide takeaway services.
The president also ordered “an immediate suspension of all face-to-face teaching, including universities,” except for students currently taking exams.
Kenya reopened its schools and colleges in early January, which had been closed for ten months.
All sporting events are also suspended.
International travel is permitted but subject to a negative coronavirus test.
The new measures begin on Friday at midnight.
Coronavirus in Kenya
This week Kenya recorded between 1,000 and 1,500 cases per day.
“According to our health experts, our third wave started to gain strength in early March,” said Kenyatta.
The peak of this wave is expected in the next 30 days, with more than 2,500 to 3,000 cases per day,” he added.
Recognizing the impact these decisions will have on the economy, Kenyatta added that these “measures are temporary and necessary to contain the spread of the disease and therefore to stop further loss of life.”
“I am convinced that the cost of inaction would be much worse,” he said“
At least it sounds that international travel is still allowed, but the question becomes; Will Little Governor’s Camp still serve guests when restaurants and bars must be closed? A big part of the charm of the camp is the frequent arrival of elephants to the restaurant during mealtime.
Will we, as guests, want a takeaway meal when part of the safari experience is delightful meal times, socialization, and good food, all of which are factored into the high daily cost. Would we even want to go if that’s the case? Probably not.
I called two phone numbers for Little Governor’s Camp on Saturday this morning, but no management staff answered our questions. Also, in both cases, the staff members answering the phones stated that more news would be reported on Monday, and they’ll know more about the restrictions and how they will impact the camp and the camp’s guests.
So what is Plan B if we cannot go on this planned adventure? I’m assuming we’ll be able to get a refund for the camp and flights. It will be trickier to get refunds for the flights, but in light of Covid, we may not have a problem. We can easily cancel all hotel bookings without an issue since they all have free cancellation policies. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to get a refund on the flights to and from Nelspruit to Johannesburg and back, which were booked separately. We shall see.
But, all of this hinges on what we find out on Monday or even as late as Tuesday. If we don’t go, we won’t have time to plan and book a trip to another location, apply for an online visa, etc. Honestly, neither of us feels like going through that again right now. Our only option with our South Africa visas expiring on April 12th, we’ll have no choice but to return to the US for a short stay.
In doing so, we’ll stay long enough to get our Covid-19 vaccines and then head back here. Depending on which vaccines we can arrange, we may be gone a month or more. We’ll see our family during this time and take care of any business we need to address. We’ll go to Minnesota to see part of the family and then head to our state of residence, Nevada, where we’ll see the eldest son Richard.
Once again, our lives are up-in-the-air due to Covid, uncertain of what the immediate future holds. At this point, neither of us is losing any sleep over this and will wait patiently for what transpires next week. We knew at some point we’d have to return to the US to get the vaccine.
The likelihood of us getting a vaccine in South Africa is unlikely in the next few years. With upcoming cruises on the distant horizon and required vaccines for all cruises, this may be as good a time as possible to get it done. We’ll certainly keep you well-informed of the situation as it rolls out.
Note: In the past few minutes, we received an email from Little Governor’s Camp. This afternoon, they hold a manager’s meeting to decide if they will close during the 60 day lockdown period or stay open. We will report the results in tomorrow’s post.
Have a peaceful and fulfilling day, dear readers.
Photo from one year ago today, March 27, 2020:
|Beautiful statue at the beach in Pondicherry. For more photos, please click here.