Standard Operating Procedures must be followed at Entebbe International Airport and ground borders in order to control the spread of COVID-19 into Uganda or from our country to abroad' as they prepare to open for business tomorrow Thursday 1st October 2020, the ministry of health has said.
President Museveni recently announced re-opening of Entebbe International Airport and other Border Entry Points with effect from 1st October 2O2O, prompting the Ministry of Health Director General Dr. Henry Mwebesa to issue guidelines that will be used to ensure those entering the country and leaving are safe, or receive the necessary attention.
For incoming passengers;
Every Passenger must come with a NEGATIVE PCR COVID-19 test done within 72 hours before arrival in Uganda. This means that Airlines must be instructed not to board passengers coming to Uganda, without a negative PCR COVID-19 test.
The health ministry has also directed that any foreign passengers arriving without a negative PCR test shall not be allowed to enter the country and must go back with the airline that brought them. The PCR test must have been done from a laboratory approved by the country where the journey was initiated.
Now, on arrival, all passengers will be scanned / screened for temperature and other signs of infectious diseases by the Port Health Team supported by 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 center (Entebbe Hospital) where infectious disease checks and a sample for covlD-19 test will be carried out.
The passengers results will be returned within 24- 48 hours as they remain in the isolation center'. However, if a passenger tests positive for COVID-19, he/she will be taken to the COVID-19 treatment center, despite them being 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-19medical 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 (US$65), and also quarantined at his/her own cost until results are back.
Tour Agencies have been advised to closely monitor the health conditions of the tourists for the duration of their stay in the country.
For Outbound passengers;
A Passenger leaving Uganda must ensure he/she has a NEGATIVE COVID 19 PCR test done within 72 hours before boarding. However, 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 travelling 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 both incoming/departing passengers to all airports/aerodromes in the country for all international flights.
“These guidelines have been compiled in consultation with the current International civil Aviation organization (ICAO) guidelines and regional airports practices of COVID 19 SOPs'. The Ministry of Health will not establish a COVID 19 testing lab at the airport, as earlier requested” Dr. Mwebesa noted.
The airport and all border points of entry have been closed to both inbound and outbound passengers since May 2020 to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Despite the dramatic increase in case numbers, the president recently made a decision to open them and allow tourists into the country, as well as Ugandans who have been stuck abroad to return home under relaxed regulations.