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Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Directives for Resumption of international flights


Ahead of the resumption of all scheduled and non-scheduled passenger flights in and out of Entebbe on 1st October, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Government of the Republic of Uganda issued directives regarding the resumption of international flights.

They were contained in a letter signed off by Fred Bamwesigye Ag. Director-General, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority as follows:

1. All arriving passengers on international flights 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; have negative PCR based COVID – 19 test carried out within 72 hours before travel shall be exempt from quarantine.

i. For passengers presenting with symptoms at the Airport without a test result, a sample will be collected upon arrival and the individual is required to quarantine at his/her cost until the result is returned. The sample will be tested at the individual’s cost.

ii. Testing of any of the recent travelers will be symptom-based, in the event that they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

iii. Contacts to recent travelers that develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be advised to self-quarantine for 14 days and tested if symptomatic. The contacts that are in the high-risk category will be prioritized for testing to ensure early diagnosis and management.

iv. The most vulnerable individuals will be prioritiaed for tracking, testing and care if infected.

v. Self-isolation and self-management, under well-defined Standard Operating Procedures and clear referral pathways will be instituted for the asymptomatic non-high-risk individuals.

vi. Health facility-based isolation and care will be preserved for the moderately, severely and critically ill case-patients.

vii. Consideration will be made for auxiliary non-health facility-based isolation and management of mild cases especially among the high -risk categories.

2. All crew shall be exempt from quarantine after operating any flight if they have negative PCR based COVID – 19 test carried out within 14 days before travel, their body temperature is not above 37.5° C (99.5°F); do not exhibit symptoms of COVID–19 and there is no suspected case of COVID-19 on their flight. With a suspected case of COVID-19 on the flight, the crew shall be quarantined at home or designated facility. If results are negative they shall be allowed to resume normal duties.

3. Air operators shall be responsible for ensuring: the passengers are tested prior to travel; proper screening; medical briefing and reporting any cases to the relevant authorities.

4. Passengers traveling out of the country, will be required to have an Authentic Valid Negative PCR test Certificate and abide by the particular travel, health and COVID-19 related requirements of the Destination Country.

5. Passengers arriving on flights after the curfew, with a valid Air Ticket and Boarding Pass shall be allowed to proceed to their hotels and/or residences.

6. Drivers should have evidence that they have come from the Airport to drop or pick up passengers.

7. Passengers departing on flights after the curfew, with a valid Air Ticket and Boarding Pass shall be allowed to proceed to their departure airport.

8. Air Operators shall provide guidance material to passengers regarding the application of the preventive measures on board.

9. Where physical distancing cannot be guaranteed because of the seat configuration or other operational constraints, the crew members will make constant on-board announcements reminding passengers to adhere at all times to all the other preventive measures including strict hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and should wear a surgical face mask. In addition, other measures such as cabin high-efficiency particulate filters (HEPA) where available will be employed.

10. Uganda Civil Aviation Authority is reviewing the frequency and timing of flights to facilitate physical distancing at the Airport.

 So far only 12 airlines have resumed operations including  Turkish, RwandAir, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, Tarco Air, and FlyDubai, Kenya Airways etcetera.

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Tony Ofungi - eTN Uganda