The government will reopen two arcades in downtown Kampala as part of a pilot study on the effectiveness of implementing Covid-19 safety guidelines.
The two arcades are Mutaasa Kafeero arcade and Park View arcade in downtown Kampala.
In his recent address to the nation on the Covid-19 situation, President Museveni directed the minister for Kampala Betty Amongi to work with the Health ministry to see how arcades can reopen as the country continues to battle Covid-19 pandemic.
On Friday, Amongi and Amelia Kyambadde, the minister for Trade and Industry, toured a number of shopping arcades in the city centre.
Amongi said the outcome of this pilot study will inform whether to have business resume in most of downtown Kampala which remains under lockdown particularly the shopping arcades.
The two ministers and Dr. Monica Musenero, the presidential advisor on Covid-19, toured Mutaasa Kafeero arcade and Park View arcade which are best known for housing phone dealerships.
Some of the facilities examined at the arcades included toilets, emergency exits among others which are critical for maintaining health guidelines on Covid-19
Amongi said the two arcades will be temporarily re-opened as pilot projects for authorities who are currently drawing roadmap on how to fully reopen businesses downtown.
“The president directed that myself and Hon Amelia and his technical team of scientific advisors inspect the arcades and come up with scientific measures on how to allow them to operate,”she said.
Dr. Musenero said there is need to observe the standard operating procedures.
She said only two floors, on each of the two arcades, will be allowed to operate so that the authorities are able to monitor the situation.
“You need to make some changes before the reopening and the changes include coming up with the innovation to improve the ventilation, we need to be sure of the numbers of people who are going to be in the arcades,”she said.
After the tour, a committee was formed comprising landlords of the two arcades and two tenants.
It was agreed that the number of traders sharing shops will be reduced to half in order to observe social distancing and other precautionary measures aimed at fighting the pandemic.
Some of the landlords said that until government gives them tax waivers, there is nothing to do regarding the issues of their tenants because they don’t want to become losers at the end of the day.
Traders will be waiting for the final decision out of the pilot study which will determine the resumption of business in the arcades.