There is a great sigh of relief for travelers and tourism sector players in Uganda after government announced a two weeks postponement of the mandatory testing of all incoming travelers into the country.
Government had indicated that 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, following an inter-ministerial committee meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja on Thursday, it was resolved that the move is halted for a period of two weeks as consultations over the same continue.
According to the State Minister for Tourism, Martin Mugarra Bahinduka said the decision by government to halt the implementation is a good move for the tourism industry which majorly relies on travellers from abroad.
The minister who was part of the inter-ministerial meeting said negotiations will continue to see the best way forward so as to avoid hurting the already limping tourism sector, courtesy of the Covid-induced lockdown.
“Tourists were cancelling trips to Uganda and heading elsewhere .No one wants to be punished to spend his or her money,” said tourism enthusiast and investor Amos Wekesa.
Following the new development, it was resolved that whereas all travellers from countries in category two entering into Uganda will undergo a mandatory PCR test, those who are asymptomatic or have completed covid vaccination will not be subjected to the same.
Category two has countries like Kenya, Tanzania, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Tanzania.