Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Tightens Coronavirus Measures for Travellers
As countries prepare to open their airports, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has tightened travel measures at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport to combat the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic that has strained the world.
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority’s manager Sooma says that the new airport procedures are in line with new guidelines issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Airports Council International and the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of airports reopening.
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority officials are working hand in hand with the Ministry of Health in Uganda, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs to ensure Entebbe International Airport complies with the set guidelines.
President Yoweri Museveni suspended these passenger flights on 22nd March 2020 to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Uganda. He, however, allowed cargo and emergency flights to continue operations. Before the lockdown, Entebbe International Airport could handle between 90 to 120 flights daily.
What are the New Passenger Guidelines at the Entebbe International Airport?
Unlike before, departing passengers will now be expected to arrive at the airport at least four hours before boarding their departure planes. This is to enable travellers to go through health port screening procedures.
Departing passengers will also be required to present a valid health certificate from the Ministry of Health Uganda or undergo a rapid COVID-19 test at the airport before departure.
According to Eng. Ayub Sooma, UCAA’s Director Airports and Aviation Security, all arriving and departing travellers will be expected to wear face masks at all times while at the airport & also exercise social distancing.
New Entebbe International Airport Facility Changes
According to the new changes, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority is set to;
- Provide more space for boarding lounges.
- Install of automatic sensor non-touchable doors.
- Put in place non-touchable water taps.
- E- Boarding pass readers.
- Automated document readers to limit excessive scanning of passports.
- Three big marquees have already been established to ensure passengers observe the required physical distancing.
Entebbe International Airport COVID-19 Screening Procedures
Dr James Eyul, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority’s aviation medical specialist said that the health and immigration officers will be able to handle 100 passengers in the two tents for screening and processing of documents while samples will be collected from a maximum of ten passengers at the same time.
However, Dr Benson Tumwesigye, who led a delegation from the Ministry of Health to inspect the airport and assess the progress of the COVID-19 measures, advised the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority to improve on aeration inside the tents to avoid infection. He says the airport can only resume passenger flights when the Ministry of Health Uganda is satisfied that the precautionary measures are adhered to.
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