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Kampala, Uganda – As Uganda prepares for the reopening of Entebbe International Airport on October 1st, a raft of measures have been put in place in consultation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and regional airports practices of COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs).
The guidelines, that also apply to passengers arriving or departing at other border points of entry or exit – on land or lake, take into consideration travelers coming into Uganda and those going out of the country.
According to Civil Aviation Authority, these measures have been undertaken to control the spread of COVID-19.
• Passenger must have had a negative PCR COVID-19 test done within 72 hours before arrival in Uganda, and has not shown any signs and symptoms of any infectious disease before boarding.
• The PCR test must have been done from a laboratory approved by the country where the journey is initiated.
• A passenger who shows signs and symptoms of an infectious disease on arrival will be put in a waiting infectious disease ambulance and taken to an isolation center (Entebbe Hospital) where infectious disease checks and a sample for COVID-19 tests are carried out and results will be returned within 24-48 hours.
• If a passenger tests positive for COVID-19, he or she is taken to the COVID-19 treatment center, or is repatriated for treatment in another facility outside Uganda at their own cost following COVID-19 medical evacuation protocol.
• Airlines and airport authorities will ensure that before boarding to Entebbe International Airport, a passenger must have met the above requirement.
• Ministry of Health will ensure there is an accessible COVID-19 PCR laboratory outside the terminal building which will be able to take samples and avail results within a short time, for exceptional circumstances.
• An infectious disease laboratory is not allowed within the vicinity of an international airport, therefore, passengers that require a PCR COVID-19 test will have to be transported to the facility by MoH or at their own cost escorted by security.
• A passenger leaving Uganda will ensure he or she has carried out a COVID-19 PCR test and valid within 72 hours before boarding.
• Passengers with special situations that may not allow them to present a PCR test certificate will have to ensure they have a clearance from the country they are traveling to showing they may not take a PCR COVID-19 test and will be allowed to enter the country on arrival.
• 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.