Uganda issues strict Covid-19 rules for airlines, passengers

Ground crew prepare a Uganda Airlines Bombadier aircraft for departure at Entebbe International Airport. 

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Responsibility of ensuring that travellers are tested prior to travel rests with airlines.

Uganda's cabinet has approved strict Covid-19 measures for airlines and arriving passengers ahead of the Thursday's reopening of the country's Entebbe International Airport after the government further eased restrictions.

Ofwono Opondo, executive director of Uganda Media center, said in a Tuesday statement that a cabinet meeting held on Monday directed the airlines to ensure all travellers have a negative test 72 hours before arrival in Uganda. 

"Responsibility of ensuring that travellers are tested prior to travel, would rest with the airlines," said Opondo.

"For travellers presenting with symptoms at the airport without a test result, a sample will be collected upon arrival and the individual asked to quarantine at their own cost until the result is returned," he said.

He said the cabinet meeting agreed that all travellers would no longer be subjected to 14-day mandatory institutionalised Covid-19 quarantine as previously. 

"They (passengers) would be given guidance on the recommended procedures of self-quarantine where needed and for infection prevention," said Opondo.

"Testing for any of the recent travellers would be symptom-based in the event that they develop symptoms consistent with Covid-19," he said.

President Yoweri Museveni last week ordered for the reopening of the country's international airport and land borders for tourists and citizens who had been stranded abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He said the tourists will be driven straight from the airport to their destinations or to designated transit hotels to avoid mixing with Ugandans.

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority last week said international flights will resume on October 1, about six months after the government closed airports in the wake of the pandemic.