Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Uganda to ease some restrictions from May 5; nationwide lockdown extends through at least May 19. Transport disruptions likely.

This alert affects Uganda

This alert began 05 May 2020 17:36 GMT and is scheduled to expire 19 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Affected Area(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 19
  • Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions; increased security

Ugandan authorities have lifted certain coronavirus (COVID-19)-related restrictions from May 5 and extended the nationwide lockdown through at least May 19. The new measures require all citizens to wear masks in public places while maintaining social distancing.

Services and operations that will resume May 5 include:

  • Wholesale retailers, hardware retailers, metal and wood shops, garages, and insurance companies will be allowed to reopen their establishments.
  • Restaurants are open but only for takeaway services.
  • The Uganda Law Society will be allowed a quota of 30 lawyers at any one time to provide urgent legal services.
  • Only private vehicles with authorized permits are allowed on the road.
  • Individuals working in permitted facilities are allowed to use permitted buses, to walk, or to cycle.

Restrictions that will remain in place through May 19 include:

  • A nationwide 1900-0630 curfew remains in place, requiring residents to stay in their homes. The order does not apply for members of the military, police, health workers, and utility workers.
  • All borders remain closed. Cargo and humanitarian related services remain open.
  • Schools and facilities that attract large groups remain closed.
  • Nonessential businesses are to remain closed, including shopping malls, bars, and other establishments.

Authorities will review the country's restrictive measures in 14 days; they will implement further measures or ease existing restrictions depending on the evolution of the disease in the country.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Ugandan government are stricter than those taken by many governments globally in recent days in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Reconfirm all planned travel arrangements. Plan accordingly for protracted commercial, transport, and logistics disruptions. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Back to the COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center