Government has halted the compulsory Covid testing for all incoming passengers into the country that was set to begin today, September, 3.
Starting today, travellers regardless of their vaccination status or Covid test status were to undergo a mandatory test for the virus upon arrival into the country, a move that has sparked outrage, especially among frequent travellers and tour operators.
However, on Thursday, an inter-ministerial committee engaged with several stakeholders and it was agreed that the move be halted for two weeks.
“The mandatory testing of all incoming travellers at Entebbe International Airport and other points of entry has been postponed for 2 weeks, following an inter-ministerial committee meeting chaired by the Prime Minister,” the Ministry of Health spokesperson, Emmanuel Ainebyoona said on Thursday evening.
As part of the directive, despite showing negative Coronavirus test results done 72 hours prior to departure or upon arrival at Uganda’s entry points, travellers were required to do a mandatory Covid test at their own cost.
However, after the Thursday inter-ministerial meeting, it was agreed that all travellers arriving from India will still be subjected to mandatory PCR testing at their own cost regardless of their vaccination status.
“All incoming travelers from other category 2 countries which include: Kenya, Tanzania, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Tanzania will undergo mandatory PCR testing. However if one is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, there is no need for testing on arrival,” the ministry said.
A number of tourism players and frequent travellers welcomed the news that they said was a sigh of relief from the earlier directive.
“Tourists were cancelling trips to Uganda and heading elsewhere .No one wants to be punished to spend his or her money,” said Amos Wekesa.
As of August,31, 2021, Uganda has registered 120,208 cumulative Covid cases since last year and 95,590 of these have fully recovered whereas 3031 people have died .
A total of 1376986 doses of Covid vaccine have been admitted to the population.