Ferry services will now be available only during the day to enable compliance with the dusk-to-dawn curfew that comes into effective on Friday, 27th March, as part of the measures to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The Kenya Ferry Services, in collaboration with the Kenya Coast Guard and the Coast Regional County Commissioner’s office, have announced the change.
The ferries will operate from 5:30am to 6pm to ensure that commuters are in their houses before 7pm, and resume after 6am.
Coast Regional County Commissioner John Elungat announced that three ferries, mv Jambo, mv Kwale, and mv Likoni will be operating during peak hours, from 6:30am to 8am and 4pm to 6pm.
The fourth, mv Kilindini, will ferry motor vehicles only.
Addressing the media at the Likoni Channel, Elungat said that no trucks from the neighbouring counties heading to Nairobi or the North Coast would be allowed. They will have to use Kinango road.
Ferries usually carry 1,200 commuters per trip but since the outbreak now take under 300 people to ensure social distancing.
KFS Managing Director Bakari Gowa said his team would ensure that the social distance is maintained on the ferries.
The Kenya Coast Guard director-general, Brigadier Vincent Naisho Loonena, said that 150 security officers drawn from the GSU, the Kenya Police Service, Kenya Navy and the Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) would be in charge.
This evening, 26th March, there was a commotion at the Likoni Ferry crossing and police had to fire teargas to disperse an unruly crowd that was not keen to follow safety regulations.
The authorities have warned anyone showing signs of a fever will not not to be allowed to board the ferry.