Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Officials ease certain restrictions as part of coronavirus disease recovery plan starting July 22. Other measures to remain in effect.
- Alert Begins: 22 Jul 2020 03:44 PM UTC
- Alert Expires: 21 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Affected Area(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Significant business and travel disruptions, increased security
Authorities in Uganda have eased certain coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restriction measures as part of the nation's recovery plan as of July 21. Under the new directives, curfew hours are reduced from 1900-0630 to 2100-0630. Nonessential businesses such as shopping arcades and hair salons are also allowed to reopen with immediate effect. Officials have also lifted the restrictions imposed on motorcycle taxis, locally known as boda bodas; these will resume work July 27, with strict adherence to health guidelines.
The following COVID-19-related directives will remain in force until further notice:
- All borders remain closed. Cargo- and humanitarian-related services remain open.
- Schools will remain closed at least through September.
- The closure of places of worship will remain until further notice.
- Nonessential businesses are to remain closed, including shopping malls, bars, and other establishments.
Authorities have eased some restrictions, including the reopening of wholesale outlets, insurance companies, and construction businesses. Shops, hotels, and restaurants have reopened, but must strictly comply with special public health mandates, including social distancing guidelines and requirements on the use of protective face coverings. Residents are also allowed to use their personal vehicles without special permits.
Authorities could implement further measures or ease existing restrictions in the coming days, depending on the evolution of the disease in the country.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Ugandan government are similar to those taken by many governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of 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.