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New COVID-19 Health Directives for Entebbe International Airport Uganda

Entebbe International Lounge

Following the launch of the COVID-19 testing laboratory at Entebbe International Airport by President Y.K. Museveni on October 22, 2021, the Government of the Republic of Uganda has issued directives effective October 27, 2021, until further notice on COVID-19 health measures at Entebbe International Airport.

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  1. Passengers arriving at Entebbe International will be subjected to a COVID-19 test regardless of where they came from or vaccination status.
  2. Passengers who test positive will be transferred to treatment facilities.
  3. Travelers who have had a COVID-19 vaccination and hold a certificate must still present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate taken within 72 hours of boarding.

The directives effective October 27, 2021, until further notice were issued by notice Civil Aviation Authority Uganda, Aeronautical Information Service as follows:

1. All arriving passengers at Entebbe International Airport will be subjected to COVID-19 test, regardless of country of origin or vaccination status.

2. The only exemptions are:

– Children below 6 years.

– Airline crew with evidence of full COVID-19 vaccination.

3. Passengers who test positive for COVID-19 on arrival will be provided psychological support and transferred to the gazetted public and private treatment facilities where they will be managed for seven days and discharged on a negative PCR test.

4. The treatment for passengers in (3) above will be free in the public hospitals. However, passengers who opt for private hospitals will meet their costs.

5. In the case of arriving tourists, if they are asymptomatic or with mild disease, they will be managed in the designated tourist hotels.

6. The tourists in (5) above who progress to severe disease will be transferred to the hospitals of their choice.

7. Arriving passengers will pay US$30 or the equivalent in Uganda Shillings for the COVID-19 PCR test.

8. The payments in (7) above may be done online or on arrival using point of sales machines, mobile money, or cash.

9. All travelers whose body temperature is NOT above 37.5° C (99.5°F), do not have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing, or other flu-like symptoms shall be allowed to enter or depart Uganda.

10. Entebbe International Airport Port Health shall approve for arrival or departure a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate undertaken within 72 hours from the time of sample collection. This excludes transit time at the terminal building.

11. Travelers who have had COVID-19 vaccination and hold certificate must still present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate taken within 72 hours from the time of sample collection to boarding aircraft. This is because the vaccine is not 100% protective, and it also takes several days/weeks to begin protection.

12. Passengers traveling out of the country will be required to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate taken within 72 hours from the time of sample collection. They will abide by the health travel requirements of the destination country.

13. Passengers arriving in the curfew time, 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.

14. Passengers departing in the curfew time, and/or from districts beyond Kampala with a valid air ticket shall be allowed to proceed to their destination airport by presentation of the passenger ticket to the authorities as evidence of going to the airport.

15. Drivers should have evidence that they have come from the airport (such as airport parking ticket or passenger ticket) to drop off or pick up passengers.

16. Air transportation of human remains into the country is allowed if the following conditions are fulfilled:

– Medical Certificate of cause of death.

– Post-mortem report or Comprehensive Medical Report from the attending doctor/health facility.

– Embalming certificate (including embalming certificate for death due to COVID-19).

– Copy of passport/identification document of the deceased (The original passport/travel document/identification document to be presented to immigration authorities) v. Import license/import authorization from the Director General of Health Services.

– Appropriate packaging – wrapped in a waterproof body bag then placed in a zinc lined coffin and an outer metal or wooden box.

– The document will be verified by port health and the casket on arrival shall be decontaminated by port health.

– The burial of bodies of COVID-19 victims will be conducted following the existing procedures for scientific burials.

17. To bring human remains in the country clearance MUST be obtained from Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs.

Tourists fast tracked

Priority has been made to fast track tourists as follows:

Upon arrival, tourists will be taken to the tourist swabbing booth where their samples will be taken for testing. 

They will then proceed for verification to the Tourist Lounge where AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and UTB (Uganda Tourism Board) representatives will attend to them, and they will be allowed to proceed to hotels of their choice within Entebbe.

Their results will be sent by mail or WhatsApp, depending on what is convenient, within 2 1/2 hours. 

Transit tourists will have to wait at the airport for their results, for a maximum of 1 1/2 hours. 

Tourists are encouraged to book for their test here.

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Tony Ofungi - eTN Uganda

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