Tanzania has lifted a ban on Kenyan airlines after Kenya announced it would no longer impose a mandatory 14-day COVID-19 quarantine on Tanzanian citizens.

In a conciliatory move following a diplomatic row between the two East African countries, Kenya on September 15 included Tanzania in a list of 147 countries whose citizens are now exempt from mandatory quarantine when entering the country.

Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority Director General Hamza Johari, in response on September 16, announced “the resumption and restoration of all flights for all Kenyan operators with immediate effect”, in particular mentioning Kenya Airways (KQ, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta), Fly540 (5H, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta), Safarilink Aviation (F2, Nairobi Wilson), and Airkenya (P2, Nairobi Wilson). Hamza said the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority had been notified, adding the TCAA “shall always strive to adhere to the fundamental principles of Chicago Convention 1944 and the bilateral air service agreement between the two states”.

The diplomatic spat between the two countries started earlier this year when Kenya blocked Tanzanian truck drivers from entering the country for fear they would spread the virus.

While Kenya has imposed strict COVID-19 restrictions, Tanzania has downplayed the pandemic, causing concern amongst its neighbours and international health organisations. In mid-June Tanzanian president John Magufuli claimed COVID-19 had been largely defeated in the country thanks to the prayers of its citizens.