Land and air borders in Uganda reopened as of Oct. 15. Certain domestic restrictions remain in place.
As of Oct. 15, Ugandan authorities have maintained several domestic measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). International travel has resumed.
Land and air borders, including Entebbe International Airport (EBB), reopened Oct. 1. On arrival, tourists and business visitors are required to provide a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Tour operators and local partners will need to ensure that passengers proceed directly to their accommodation and limit interaction with Ugandans. There will be no requirement to self-isolate. Returning Ugandan citizens with negative PCR test results will not be required quarantine, but health officials may conduct follow-up checks at their homes. Children aged three and under are exempt for the test requirement as long as accompanying adults have a valid negative test certificate. Arriving passengers will be screened at the port of entry. Travelers displaying symptoms will be placed in isolation while a test is conducted. Foreign nationals can be repatriated at their own cost. Travelers exiting the country will be required to provide a negative test certificate.
The nationwide 2100-0600 curfew remains in place. All residents are required to wear protective face coverings in public areas. Restrictions on movements in border districts are lifted with strict adherence to health guidelines. The number of travelers in a private vehicle is limited to four persons. Places of worship are allowed to operate at a maximum of 70 people and must adhere to health guidelines. Open-air sports activities are allowed without spectators. Indoor sports activities, including gyms, remain closed. Hotels and restaurants may operate in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines. Gatherings of more than five people remain prohibited. Public exercise is remains banned. Shopping malls and arcades, supermarkets, pharmacies, hairdressers, and salons are open. Casinos, gaming centers, cinemas, and bars remain closed. Travel by public transport is allowed, except Boda Boda (motorcycle), and must stop operating by 1800. Schools will reopen for the candidate classes of P-7, S-4, S-6, finalists in tertiary colleges, and finalists in universities.
Authorities could implement further measures or ease existing restrictions in the coming weeks, 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 months 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.
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.