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Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures, COVID-19 Travel-Safari SOP’s in Uganda.

Uganda Coronavirus (COVID-19)Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) Upon Arrival At The Airport, And Other Points Of Entry

  • Travellers are advised to follow the instructions from the relevant staff.
  • Screening of body temperature at all entry points using a non-contact infrared thermometer is a must for all travellers.
  • Visitors must have tested for COVID-19 prior to the date of travel and should carry medical documents backed by medical evidence and in compliance with best health practice.
  • A non-contact system (digital travel) has been introduced at the airport for clients to check-in and out and at visa points; you will be attended to by someone behind a glass shield and they will also wear face masks and protectors to maintain as little contact as possible.
  • To travellers checking in at the airport, it is also a must for all travel bags to be wrapped in plastic bags.
  • Compulsory hand washing/sanitizing for both passengers and workers at all airport entrances
  • Where possible avoid touching surfaces
  • Travellers are expected to wear face masks and exercise social distancing of at least 2 meters.
  • Tours should not exceed more than 4 in a group to maintain social distancing and walk marks in the place around the airport.

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) In the car, while travelling

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) In the car, while travelling

  • Wearing of masks is mandatory for all visitors while in a car.
  • Social distancing will be observed within the vehicle.
  • There will be a regular communication of safety protocols and responsibilities to clients, keeping them informed and reminding them to remain vigilant while enjoying.
  • Onboard sanitizing tissues and/or fluids for clients (travellers) and staff (drivers’ guides and the like) will be available and we advise you to use them.
  • All vehicles should be sanitized with recommended solutions between each transfer. Surfaces and objects such as vehicle doorknob, seats, headrest, binoculars or guide books used by guests during and after the tour will be sanitized with a recommended disinfectant;
  • Many stops along the way for food or bathroom breaks can put you and your travelling companions in close contact with other people and surfaces. Therefore we will reduce the stops and create specific stop places that we prove to be safe for our health and we will encourage a takeaway food system to seat in hotels during stops.
  • Reduce the number of objects on board. Limit the quantity of your luggage when travelling to only what is appropriate for your trip.

Current Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) While At the hotels and safari lodges

Prime Uganda safaris work only with those hotels and lodges that have proven to uphold the health of our clients and practices in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization, the Uganda Tourism Board, and the Ministry of Tourism.

Also, our partner lodges and hotels foster flexibility in all their operation, such as those that can amend the booking if a client is unable to make it at the suggested time and those that can keep the clients’ credit until when they are fit to travel. The measures and guidelines to follow at the accommodation establishments shall include the following;

Covid-19 Requirements For African Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya & Tanzania 

Despite the COVID-9 pandemic, Africa continues to see positive momentum with most African safari destinations now open to international visitors. However, health and safety are on the top of every traveler’s mind, now more than ever. And many of our potential travelers have been inquiring about the Covid-19 Requirements For African Safaris in Uganda, Rwanda safaris, Congo safaris, Kenya safaris & Tanzania safaris.

Through our direct line of communication with our trusted on-the-ground partners throughout these countries, cross-referenced with official government entities, we have compiled an updated Coronavirus Travel Requirements and Restrictions in these five safari countries.

Please note that these COVID-19 travel guidelines change regularly and if you are planning a trip to Africa, please ensure you stay up to date with the latest requirements or get in touch with your Prime Safari Expert for up-to-date advice.

Uganda COVID-19 Travel Requirements & Restrictions

Safaris in Uganda including Uganda gorilla safaris and wildlife safaris in Uganda have been operating since October 2021 when the country reopened its international border.  

The Ministry of Health set out COVID-19 health measures and guidelines regarding what testings is required for arriving and departing passengers which have been revised depending on the pandemic situation. 

The most recent guidelines, which took effect on September 3, 2021, require all arriving passengers (including children), regardless of vaccination status or country of origin, to arrive with a negative PCR test done 72 hours before travel to Uganda and to undergo mandatory screening and a PCR test at their own expense at all points of entry, including Entebbe International Airport.

Travelers allowed to enter or depart Uganda include;

  • Travelers arriving from Category 2 countries include India, USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Sudan. 
  • Travelers arriving from Category 3 Countries which include all countries, not in Category 2. These will not be subject to the COVID-19 PCR test.
  • All travelers whose body temperature is not higher than 37.5°C (99.5°F) 
  • All travelers who do not have a persistent cough, difficulty breathing, or other flu-like symptoms 
  • All travelers who have a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test certificate were obtained within 72 hours of sample collection.

Travelers who are not allowed to enter or depart Uganda includes;

  • Travelers from Category 1 countries. Currently, there is no country in this category.
  • Travelers from Category 2 and 3 without a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate were undertaken within 72 hours from the time of sample collection.

COVID-19 Protocols at Entebbe International Aiport

  • Entebbe International Airport Port Health must approve a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate for arrival or departure undertaken within 72 hours of sample collection.
  • In addition to the negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate taken within 72 hours from the time of sample collection to the first embarkation, all arriving passengers from category 2 countries will be subjected to a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival in Uganda.
  • Travelers will be transferred by bus to a government-approved testing facility, located about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) from the airport, where PCR testing is done.
  • The PCR test will cost USD 30 per traveler, payable in cash.
  • For travelers presenting with COVID-19 signs and symptoms or another infectious disease will be subjected to secondary screening and will be taken for further management. 
  • If found to have an infectious disease, travelers will be taken for further management at the infectious disease hospital.
  • If you show signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or another infectious disease you will be subjected to further screening and be taken for further management. 
  • If found to have an infectious disease,  you will be taken to the infectious disease hospital for further management.
  • Passengers arriving in curfew time (7:00 pm – 5:30 am), and/or from districts beyond Kampala with a valid Air Ticket and Boarding Pass shall be allowed to proceed to their hotels and/or residences.

Uganda COVID-19 Protocols For Departing Passengers

  • Passengers departing Uganda via Entebbe Airport must have an authenticated negative Covid PCR test certificate provided within 72 hours of the time of sample collection to boarding aircraft.
  • All PCR test certificates for departing passengers must indicate travel as the intended purpose of the test.
  • Passengers departing Entebbe Airport are required to know, understand, and interpret the COVID-19 requirements of the country they are traveling to.
  • Passengers departing in curfew time, and or from districts beyond Kampala with a valid air ticket shall be allowed to proceed to their destination airport by the presentation of the passenger ticket to the authorities as evidence of going to the airport.
  • Individuals who test positive for the COVID-19 test shall be treated according to the Ministry of Health protocol for COVID19.

Where And How Can You Do Your Covid-19 Departure Tests While On Your Uganda Safari? 

Regardless of where the test center is located or a sample is collected, all PCR Co tests are processed at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe. 

Before a result is released, all the tests must make their way to Entebbe for processing. Based on this there are three options available to people who want to get tested while on a Uganda tour.

Option One 

Adding one extra night to your existing Uganda safari vacation is the safest and most secure option to take the COVID test and receive your results in time to catch your departing flight hours.

This allows you to take your test in Entebbe on the day you return from your Uganda safari activities such as Uganda gorilla trekking, Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda, Uganda wildlife safari game drives, birdwatching/birding in Uganda, and others to stay an additional night in Entebbe, pick up your test the next day, and then fly back home.

Option Two

In Kampala and Entebbe, several testing centers have sprung up, each with a different fee and varying wait times for test results.

On the day you return from your Uganda trip, these test centers could be used for a Covid test. However, this is an unreliable option of getting results from test centers after the test has been completed, and it may cause you to miss your flight home.

Option Three

Upcountry, in Mbarara and Fort Portal, there are testing centers that can perform a COVID test. These tests, however, must be sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe to be processed and a result determined. This means that even if you were tested upcountry, you will have to wait for your results in Entebbe.

Therefore, we recommend staying an extra night in Entebbe after your tour in Uganda to guarantee that you have enough time to complete the COVID – 1 9 test and get your results before flying home.

Status of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni in his televised speech on 22nd  September 2021 said the COVID-19 transmission rates in Uganda have continued to decline. 

He noted that the daily average number of confirmed cases over the last month has declined and stabilized at 124 cases countrywide, from an average of 1,445 cases at the peak of the second wave in June 2021. 

Similarly, the daily average number of deaths has declined to 6 from 57 deaths at the height of the peak of the second wave.

As of 22nd September 2021, the country has registered 122,502 confirmed cases and 3,135 deaths. Additionally, the current admissions stand at 340 in both public and private facilities (272 in public, 66 in prisons, and only 2 in the private facilities), of whom 144 (38%) are in the severe and critical category.

But to prevent the third wave and importation or emergence of new variants in Uganda, Mr. Museveni directed the Ministry of Health to enhance surveillance at the airport and all the 53 land ports of entry.

“Government will establish testing facilities at the airport and all land border points of entry. In the interim (not more than 2 weeks), the private laboratories will continue to test the incoming travelers,” he said.

The president further said the UPDF and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will support the Ministry of Health to complete the modifications necessary for the installation of the testing facilities and to carry out the surveillance processes.

“I am aware of the limitations of the current Public Health Act. Cabinet will fast track its amendment to facilitate the enforcement of SOPs and include among others, the on-spot and court fines of those who fail to adhere to SOPs,” he added.

If you have any questions about the Uganda safari, please get in touch with us.


Health and safety protocols are excellent in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania, and Kenya: sanitizer stations, temperature checks, social distancing, and the wearing of masks are standard practices.  If you feel ready and comfortable, Africa is ready for you. 

Get in touch with our safari experts to help tailor-make a trip that’s right for you:

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) While At the hotels and safari lodges

Prime Uganda safaris work only with those hotels and lodges that have proven to uphold the health of our clients and practices in accordance with the guidelines of World Health Organization, Uganda Tourism Board and Ministry of Tourism.

Also, our partner lodges and hotels foster flexibility in all their operation, such as those that can amend the booking if a client is unable to make it at the suggested time and those that can keep the clients’ credit until when they are fit to travel. The measures and guidelines to follow at the accommodation establishments shall include the following;

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) On Arrival At The Hotel −Safety Protocols

  • Upon arrival safety procedures will be explained to guests and how the lodge or hotel is following them to deter the transmission of the infection if an individual is discovered to be sick.
  • To ensure a safe working environment for all staff and guests, our partner hotels and lodges will make sure that the temperature and respiratory conditions of all visitors are reviewed at the point of checking in.

Guests with abnormal temperature and/or breathing difficulty will have to be examined by a doctor before they are permitted to access the guest rooms. The hotel/lodge will designate a suitable, convenient and well-equipped room to accommodate the guest during this process.

  • Where possible, temperatures will be taken using a contactless infrared thermometer as a basic standard for checking the common symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Staff at our partner hotels and lodges will ensure the correct use of masks for guests.
  • Luggage will be handled with gloves and handles wiped with sanitizer.
  • The hotels and lodges will provide means to wash/sanitize hands frequently throughout the facility.
  • They will also sanitize frequently touched public surfaces.
  • The hotels and lodges we use have implemented contactless check-in and will provide the guest with a hygiene welcome kit where possible; gloves, mask, and hand sanitizer.
  • There will be no use of recyclable cold towels when welcoming the guest
  • Staff serving the welcome drink will wear disposable gloves and ensure that the welcome drinks (if served chilled) are stored in sealed containers.
  • The use of paperless systems for checking in and billing will be encouraged.
  • Social distancing is a must at the accommodation establishments, at least one meter. Social distancing also includes refraining from hugging & shaking hands among guests and staff.
  • Guest at our partner hotels will be encouraged not to use the crowded elevator when going to their rooms, and to avoid touching any surface inside the elevator without glove or finger guard.
  • Items which guests handle regularly will be sanitized regularly.

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) At Your Lodge/hotel Staff- Safety Procedures

  • Our partner hotels and lodges are those that have trained their entire employees COVID-19 preventive and control measures, such as social distancing, the appropriate wearing of face masks, and regular hand washing.
  • There will be the use of personal protective equipment for all service staff, such as gloves and masks.
  • If a member of the staff reports respiratory symptoms, the staff will immediately stop work and seek medical assistance. The staff will stay isolated in a suitable room while the medical services are being notified.

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) While in Your Room−Safety Protocols

  • Our partner lodges will put hand sanitizer in bedrooms.
  • Guest’s rooms will receive a deep clean with a heightened focus on areas of frequent touches, such as light switches, taps, torches, handles, bedside tables and stationery.
  • Each room will have a dedicated housekeeper who will be the only person to enter the room during your stay.
  • Morning tea & coffee will be delivered to your room and only by your dedicated housekeeper with items having been cleaned and sanitized in the kitchen.

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) Restaurants, Dining Rooms And Bars−Safety Procedures

  • Dinning, bar and breakfast facilities will limit the number of guests to adhere to the safety physical distance required.
  • Whenever possible, there will be a maximum of 4 persons for 10 square meters. Tables will be arranged such that the distance from the back of one chair to the back of another chair will be more than 1 meter apart and that guests face each other from a distance of at least 1 m.
  • All meals plated and served individually, there will no buffets for any meal.
  • Menus presented verbally to each table, and then displayed by the waiter for the guests to make their choices – the guests will not need to handle it.
  • The coffee machines, soda machines, and others, in particular, the parts more in contact with the hands of users, will be cleaned and disinfected at least after each service and more often if necessary.
  • Guests will be reminded when entering and leaving the restaurant, breakfast, or dining room to disinfect their hands with disinfectant gel, preferably located at the entrance to those facilities.

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) When Handling Sick Guests−Safety Procedures

  • The safety and comfort of all guests are of the highest priority, and all hotel lodges and staff have received training in handling suspected cases.
  • A sick guest who is suspected of COVID-19 will stay in an individual room, except in the case of children or persons requiring caretakers. The guest will receive food in the room. All information about the ill guest will be treated with discretion.
  • The ill guest will be requested to wear a mask and practice respiratory hygiene when coughing and sneezing. If the mask cannot be tolerated by the ill person, tissues will be provided to cover the mouth and discard the tissue immediately into a biohazard disposal waste bag.
  • In order to minimize the risk of contaminating other guests or staff members, symptomatic guests will leave the hotel according to instructions from the management of the establishment and local health authority. Symptomatic guest will be assessed for their condition and, if they fulfil the definition of a suspected case, they will be transferred to a designated health care facility.
  • If necessary, the sick guest can be isolated in a room on a temporary basis until the intervention of local health authorities and provided the room is not shared with other guests.
  • No visitors should be permitted to enter the room occupied by the affected guest.
  • If there is no other option but to keep a sick guest suspected of COVID-19, with mild symptoms, self-isolation in the room should be considered. Doctor’s visits will be carried out in the sick person’s room whenever possible.

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) While At restaurants, Shops, Cafes, Cafeterias, And Takeaway Outlets Serving Clients

(COVID-19) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) While At restaurants, Shops, Cafes, Cafeterias, And Takeaway Outlets Serving Clients

  • All workers and clients maintain at least 1-meter distance inside the restaurants and eateries. Re-arrange the seating arrangements to keep 1-meter distance among the guests and also during communication
  • Where possible, the menu will be displayed either by the TV screen, display board or under the glass pad of the table despite using printed menu cards.
  • Places where buffets are available, there should be a dedicated staff member(s) to serve the food to avoid many customers handling spoons and other utensils in the buffet.
  • Make sure only 50% of the normal occupancy is allowed in the restaurant or food outlet. A prior reservation mechanism is recommended to avoid over-crowding and unnecessary disappointments for guests.
  • At the entrance, a staff member in proper safety dresses should spray hand sanitizers to each customer
  • Make sure all the staff and guest are wearing masks
  • Encourage the use of cashless or contactless payment, to speed up the payment process and reduce cash-handling.

Uganda Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for Tourists/ Travellers 

Uganda Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) While in the National Parks & Reserves−Safety Procedures

  • These guidelines will be implemented alongside other existing National Parks rules and regulations.
  • UWA staff on duty shall render the visitors informed on the general government-approved COVID-19 operational guidelines, including those established and authorized by UWA management. They will explain to visitors the UWA COVID-19 measures (DOs and DONTs) to follow during their tour and stay with the protected area.
  • There will be screening for guests/staff for temperature in the protected areas at entry, using non-contact infra-red thermometers. Those with temperatures above 37.6 degrees Celsius will not be allowed in the protected areas and they will be advised to receive medical assistance via the mechanism defined by the authorities to obtain nearest quarantine place.
  • All staff and visitors will have to wear the face masks recommended by the Health Ministry (tourists must bring their own face mask).
  • Visitors are expected to have a certificate showing that they are COVID-19 negative, either issued by our ministry of health or relevant authority from a most recently visited country.
  • Visitors will also be subjected to mandatory hand washing / sanitizing at the entrances of all UWA premises and protected areas. Sanitary alcohol sanitizer dispenser, as well as handwashing facilities with soap, shall be installed at all entry points to the protected areas.
  • Visitor can as well carry their hand sanitizers in vehicles whilst visiting the park.
  • Common areas with heavy tourist contact will be regularly disinfected before and after visiting hours. These include information centers, service desks, waiting areas, park offices, and toilets. Toilet, in particular, will be cleaned at least every four hours.
  • All park gate counters will be set with a transparent screen where applicable. The gate manning staff will only allow those visitors with a prescribed face mask and who have washed/sanitized to enter the park.
  • Where applicable in public campsites, all tourists and camp crew should pitch their tents at a reasonable distance of not less than three meters apart;
  • Cultural visits will be done while observing preventive measures such as avoiding shaking hands, hugging and touching of objects;
  • For those interested in Mountain climbing, the climbing equipment will be disinfected before climbing and all crew handling mountain climbing equipment will have to perform handwashing with running water and soap or hand sanitizers.

Uganda Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) In Tourist vehicles And Boats−Safety Standards Within The Park

Visitors will need to follow the National Guidelines set by the Ministry of Health while in a vehicle or a boat in the Uganda National Parks, for example;

  • Social distancing will be observed within the vehicle
  • Salon car will carry 4 people; these do not include the guide, where one is requested and paid for.
  • The buses, minibuses, omnibuses and overlanders shall carry half capacity.
  • The concessionaire delivery vehicles, pickups and Lorries shall carry 2 persons.
  • Private boats and launches-half capacity.
  • Tour operator game drive vehicles and UWA owned game drive vehicles will carry 6 persons
  • Tour operators and service providers will be reminded to disinfect their vehicles regularly.
  • UWA owned vehicles will be washed every day before use and disinfected daily through spray pumps.
  • Every protected area shall provide a safe location where the spraying can be done and where tour operators can also park their cars to disinfect them.
  • All tour operators shall be encouraged to provide their drivers with alcohol-based hand rub/hand sanitizer frequently or alternatively wear gloves. Caution should, however, be taken to remove this sanitizer whenever a car is in the park.
  • All other precautionary measures have to be enforced i.e. washing hands, social distancing, and cautiously wear a mask.

Uganda Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) During Tourists briefing -Health And Safety Recommendations

  • Tourists shall be given the normal briefing on the activities they are about to participate in before participating in any tourism activities in the park.
  • Also, the guides shall warn visitors of the looming danger of COVID-19 and inform them on the general protective measures imposed by the government and of the measures they are supposed to adopt when in the protected areas; reminding them that this is both for their safety and that of the wildlife.
  • Such instructions and steps shall also be written and posted in the main noticeable places of the park, such as briefing areas, gateways, information centres and others.

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) For Gorilla And Chimpanzee Trekking −Safety Guidelines

  • Existing rules and regulation for gorilla and chimpanzee trekking will stay in force to prevent any human to animal transmission, for example;
  • 8 and 6 tourists will be allowed to track gorillas and chimpanzees respectively
  • Tourists to stay 7 meters away from the chimpanzees and gorillas
  • Guests who are observed to be overly coughing during the briefing shall not be permitted to track.
  • Visitors who are considered to be ill during the briefing shall not be allowed to track. These include visitors with flu symptoms and those experiencing diarrhoea, stomach pain, and malaria among others.
  • Since the forest is thick and has no clear pathways for tracking, the UWA guides appointed shall strive as humanly as possible to ensure that there is mutual space between visitors while tracking.
  • Visitors are advised to bring light equipment in order to reduce the need for potters while they undertake the tracking. This will be communicated to potential tourists through the tour operators and other forums.
  • Due to the reported side effects of putting on a mask for long periods and in high altitude, the number of breaks and during the tracking shall be doubled to give tourists time to breathe fresh air.
  • During these breaks, social distancing should be observed.

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) As You Take Communally Done Tourist Activities−Safety Guidelines

Uganda Coronavirus Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) During Boat Cruises -Safety Guidelines

  • Guides shall impose social distancing whilst on a boat;
  • Guest shall put on their face masks at all time while on the boat
  • In the event that the visitor has had side effects due to wearing a mask for a long time, he/she shall inform the guide who will find the space in the boat so that the client can get some fresh air for a few minutes. This shall be away from the other tourists.
  • UWA operated boats must be washed and disinfected every day prior to any boat activities.
  • The concessionaires are also expected to clean and disinfect their boats every day prior to any boat activities.

Uganda Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) During Game Drives −Safety Guidelines

  • When a guide is needed, the guide shall sit at the front and regularly inform the visitors of the need for a social space.
  • The masks shall be worn at all times
  • Where tourists get side effects due to putting on a mask for a long time, the tourist shall inform the guide who will find a safe and secure place to park the vehicle and allow for the tourist to get fresh air whilst retaining social distance.
  • Picnic meals while on game drives are encouraged – and of course are thoroughly enjoyable! Hand-washing facilities and hand-sanitizer will be available and hygiene strictly observed by your guide.
  • Each of our guides has its own vehicle that they look after and is responsible for ensuring the hygienic cleanliness of the vehicle before and after each game drive. This includes cleaning areas of high-frequency touches, such as door handles and side armrests.