Simplified Uganda Standard Operating Procedures or Guidelines for Incoming & Outgoing Travellers
Following the reopening of Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport on 1st October to revive Uganda’s tourism, a number of COVID-19 safari travel measures have been put in place for travellers. These Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’S) were passed after consulting the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). According to the Civil Aviation Authority, these measures have been undertaken to control the spread of COVID-19.
These SOP’s are to be followed by passengers arriving and departing at the Entebbe International Airport and at other border points of entry or exit either by land or water.
Standard Operating Procedures for Incoming Passengers
- Airlines shall not board any passenger coming to Uganda without a negative COVID-19 PCR test. An arriving passenger without the negative COIVD-19 PCR test shall be denied entry and the airline shall be obliged to take back the passenger. In an unlikely event that a returning Uganda comes without COVID-19 PCR test, they will be allowed to enter the country but shall have the test done at their cost of $65, and quarantined at own cost till the results are out.
- Travellers must have a negative and authentic PCR COVID-19 test done from an accredited laboratory done within 72 hours before their arrival in Uganda.
- A passenger or traveller who displays signs and symptoms of this infectious disease on arrival will be put in a waiting infectious disease ambulance and taken to an isolation centre (Entebbe Referal Hospital) where he/she will be checked. After taking your COVID-19 sample tests, results will be returned within 24-48 hours and the traveller is supposed to remain in isolation centre.
- If the traveller’s results turn out to be positive, the traveller will be taken to the COVID-19 treatment centre or is repatriated for treatment in another facility outside Uganda at their own cost following COVID-19 medical evacuation protocols.
- Airlines and airport authorities will also ensure that before boarding to Entebbe International Airport, a passenger must have met the above requirements.
- The Ministry of Health Uganda will ensure there is an accessible COVID-19 PCR laboratory for travellers 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 Entebbe International Airport, therefore, passengers that require a PCR COVID-19 test will be transported to the facility recommended by the Ministry of Health, however, they will have to meet their own cost while escorted by security.
- All passengers will be subjected to temperature screening upon arrival at the hall. All passengers will be screened for any other signs of infectious diseases by the Port Health Team.
- Passengers shall also scan their fingerprints under the instruction of the immigration officers, but will be required to hand sanitize before and after.
Standard Operating Procedures for Outgoing Passengers
- All Passengers and airport users will be subjected to temperature screening on entry to the airport and departure hall.
- A passenger or traveller leaving Uganda will have to ensure he or she has carried out a COVID-19 PCR test and it should be valid within 72 hours before boarding.
- A passenger who shows up with signs and symptoms of 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.
- 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 travelling to showing they may not take a PCR COVID-19 test and will be allowed to enter the country on arrival.
- All passengers must always wear a mask appropriately within the terminal.
- In special circumstances where passengers are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate in the country of destination, such passengers should ensure that they have clearance from the destination country so as to be allowed to board.
- Maintain a social distance of 1.5 meters apart from each other within the terminal.
- Only passengers and airport users with official business in the terminal will be allowed access to the airport.
- Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport at least 4 hours before their scheduled flights.
- Airport users are encouraged to sanitize after touching surfaces or documents.
More about the COVID-19 Guidelines for travellers in Uganda
- The Government of Uganda still maintains a night-time curfew that runs from 9 pm to 5:30 am, as one of the measures taken by the government and Ministry of Health to control the unnecessary movement of people and person to person interactions. However, the incoming and outgoing travellers or passengers whose flights fall within the curfew hours are exempted from night movement restrictions, says the Entebbe deputy resident District Commissioner; Njuki Mbabali.
Njuki assured travellers that security agencies have been briefed to allow all passengers moving to and from Entebbe International Airport during the curfew time. However, he adds, all passengers must present their passports and air tickets whenever they are stopped.
Nevertheless, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga emphasized that the stop and search security teams deployed along the Kampala-Entebbe highway will work in partnership with Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) and Aviation Police to ensure that only flight passengers move during the curfew hours.
There are eight police officers deployed at the main entrance to ensure that passengers who disembark from the vehicles have their body temperatures measured and sanitize their hands before they can proceed to the airport, says Enanga.
- Flights for passengers that will be scheduled during the curfew time will be allowed to move, for instance, Turkish Airlines. The first commercial flight at the airport after the reopening on October 1st arrived at 3 am and departed with some passengers at 4:50 am.
- Additional port health measures put in place to combat the spread of coronavirus disease-COVID-19 require outgoing passengers to report at Entebbe airport at least four hours to their departure time.
- Social distancing marks have been placed on most public spaces, such as the waiting lounges, check-in areas among others. The airport was partially closed on March 23, 2020, as a way of combatting the spread of coronavirus disease-COVID-19. During the time, only emergency flights, comprising mainly returning nationals and cargo, were allowed to land at the airport.
- Rendering to new guidelines issued by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, each airline, apart from Uganda Airlines will operate only one flight daily during this first phase of the airport reopening covering the months of October – December 2020. The national airline (Uganda Airlines) will operate two flights a day to Nairobi, four times to Juba and Dar-es-salaam and thrice to Mogadishu.
As Africa Tour Operators…
Uganda was recently awarded the ‘Safer Tourism Seal’ on account of the recognition of the destination that the hospitality industry’s number one job is the protection of its guests and those working in the industry.
The seal recognizes that there is no 100% safety and security in the world, however, use of the term “safer tourism” indicates that the entity awarded such a seal has established a dynamic tourism surety program that demands continual reviews, revisions, and upgrades.
We, therefore, encourage all travellers that want to visit Africa for an African safari should go ahead book for their safari. We organize all types of Africa safaris; wildlife, adventure, honeymoon safaris, gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking etc. in different African countries like;