On the 1st of October 2020, Uganda reopened Entebbe airport the only international airport transport terminal in the country. Also other ports and international borders of Uganda have been opened The ports in Uganda had been closed for nearly seven months after the outbreak of covid19 a global pandemic. Uganda stopped international passenger travel or movement which also implied that most of the global airlines or aircrafts that operate at the airport had to stop business. It was only the cargo movements that were allowed at the ports
However, as the world devised means of how to live with coronavirus, the lockdown of the different sectors of Uganda had to be lifted and fortunately enough ports followed suit. The international borders and ports were opened but stringent measure to prevent the send of this deadly bug were put in place after a consultative meeting between the different authority bodies like the ministry of health, ministry of transport, civil aviation authority and the immigration department under the ministry of internal affairs.
Below are the guidelines which the passengers at all ports are supposed to adhere to as stipulated by the ministry of health:
- Every passenger must come with a NEGATIVE PCR COVID 19 test done within 72hours before arrival in Uganda. Airlines must be instructed not to board any passenger coming to Uganda without a NEGATIVE PCR COVID 19 test.
- Any foreign passengers arriving with a negative PCR test should not be allowed to enter the country and must go back with the airline that brought them.
- The PCR test must be done from a laboratory approved by the country where the journey was initiated
- On arrival all passengers must be scanned/screened for temperature and other signs of the infectious diseases by the port health team supported by the ministry of health. A passenger who shows signs and symptoms of an infectious disease on arrival will be put in a waiting ambulance and taken to an isolation centre (Entebbe hospital) where infectious disease checks and a sample for COVID 19 test will be carried out. Results will be returned within 24-48hours as the passenger remains in the isolation centre.
- If a passenger tests positive for COVID 19 he/she will be taken to the COVID 19 treatment centre, whether Ugandan or foreign national. If a foreign national wishes to be repatriated for treatment in another facility outside Uganda. this will be done at their own cost following COVID 19 medical evacuation protocol.
- In the unlikely event that a returning Ugandan arrives without a PCR Test, he/she will be allowed to enter the country but will have a COVID 19 test done at his/her own cost (USD$65), and also quarantined at his/her own cost until results are back.
- Tour agencies should be advised to closely monitor the health conditions of the tourists for the duration of their stay in the country.
- Any situation deviating from the above will be handled on a case by case basis by the ministry of health.
- A passenger leaving Uganda will ensure he/she has a NEGATIVE COVID 19 PCR TEST done within 72hours before traveling.
- In special circumstances where passengers are not required to present a negative COVID 19 PCR test in the countries of destination such passengers should ensure they have a clearance from the country they are traveling to and will be allowed to board.
- A passenger who shows up with signs and symptoms of an infectious disease as detected by port health staff will not be allowed to board but will be taken to an isolation facility for medical investigation and treatment.
The guidelines apply to all airports/aerodromes in the country for all incoming / departing international flights.
These guidelines have been compiled in consultation with the current international civil aviation organisation (ICAO) guidelines and regional airports practises of COVID 19 SOPS.
These guidelines have been extracted directly from the press release document issued by The Ministry of Health