Coronavirus Lockdown: 40 U.S. nationals evacuated from Uganda

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Entebbe, Uganda – Up to 40 US Nationals have left Uganda after the government cleared another flight for persons who had been held here by ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns. They left Entebbe Intenational Airport aboard Ethiopian airlines on Tuesday evening.

This is the third chartered flight for US nationals ever since the suspension of international passenger flights from Entebbe. Each passenger on the first flight paid USD 2,500 (about 9 million Shillings) for an airticket. According to U.S. law, departure assistance to U.S. citizens must be provided on a reimbursable basis.

“The U.S. Embassy has no plans to charter an evacuation flight out of Uganda but if we were to do so, the U.S. Embassy would require passengers to sign a promissory note for the loan and reimburse the U.S. government for the cost of the flight,” the embassy posted on its website this evening.

Uganda suspended passenger flights on March 25 to control the spread of coronavirus disease-COVID-19 as most of the cases initially recorded were of persons traveling from abroad. From that time only emergency and cargo flights are allowed in Uganda’s Airspace.

However, nine evacuation and chartered flights have since been approved for nationals of foreign countries who were stuck in Uganda. So far up to 1,600 people have left Uganda for different countries, among them the United States and Germany.

Another flight is planned for May 21, 2020 for the British who would like to return home, amidst the lockdown.

In a press statement, the UK Government said that it has “facilitated a special flight from Entebbe for British tourists, short term visitors and their direct dependents in Uganda to return to the UK.”

Each passenger will pay 559 British Pounds (2.6 million Shillings) for an air ticket to London. However, there is an option for eligible nationals who are financially constrained to apply for an emergency loan from the government to cover the cost of the ticket.

The United States has recorded up to 1.3 million confirmed cases of Coronavirus disease 262,400 and over 82,000 death while the UK has so far confirmed 226,463 cases and 32,692 deaths.

Uganda currently has 122 confirmed cases and no deaths.

(URN)

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