2020 Covid-19 Measures in Kenya


Issue Timelines
March 2020
On March 13, 2020, the first Covid-19 patient was identified in Kenya and hospitalised. This lead to raft of measures by the government to contain the spread of the virus. The measures limited movement and affected people's ability to work especially casual workers and due to this, the government sought to cushion vulnerable populations by offering certain tax cuts.

On 30th March 2020, Kenya Published its Covid 19 Regulations together with an accompanying Explanatory Note

In summary, an Emergency Relief Fund was established and implementation of tax reliefs and other measures aimed at increasing disposable income to the people of Kenya, through:

i. 100%TaxRelief for persons earning a gross monthly income of up to Ksh. 24,000/-

ii. Reduction of Income Tax Rate (Pay As - You - Earn) from 30% to 25%,

iii. Reduction of Resident Income Tax (Corporation Tax) from 30% to 25 %;

iv. Appropriation of an additional Ksh. 10 Billion to the elderly, orphans and other vulnerable members of our society through cash-transfers by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, to cushion them from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 2020

On April 10th, in Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 41, Kenya made it an offence to not keep social distance or not wear masks in public.

On April 19th, the Tax Laws Ammendment Act, 2020 was assented to. It contains additional measures to alleviate the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic.

May 2020

On May 8th, the government  announced that it will foot quarantine bills so as to encourage people to go for testing.

On May 15th, the government published a gazette notice to extend a concessional Import duty rate of 14% to apply in respect of white maize and 10% in respect to yellow maize imported on or before 31st July, 2020 by millers. 

The draft Public Health (Covid 19 Restaurants Rules), 2020 are developed to allow for the reopening of restaurants during the pandemic.

Due to excerbated vulnerabilities, the government has been dispatching KS250 Million weekly to families and has announced plans to assist young people and businesses.

The Agricultural sector has been allocated Ksh 3 billion for farm inputs supply through e-vouchers, targeting 200,000 small scale farmers;to cushion them from adverse weatherand to secure food supply chains

Small and Medium Enterprises have been allocated Ksh10 Billion to fast-track payment of outstanding VAT refunds and other pending payments; while Ksh3 Billion has been allocated as seed capital for the SME Credit Guarantee Schemes to provide affordable credit to small and micro enterprise.

Legislation


Public Finance Management (Covid 19 Regulations 2020)

Draft Public Health (Covid 19 Restaurant Rules), 2020 

Gazette Notice No. 87 of May 15, 2020

Tax Laws (Amendment) Act, 2020

Views from the Media and Public Policy Experts

Tackling COVID-19 requires a more progressive and targeted tax policy: a look at Kenya

 


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