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Uganda ends PCR test mandate for all vaccinated outbound travelers

Uganda ends negative PCR test requirement for outbound travelers
Uganda's Minister of Health, Honorable Jane Ruth Achieng

On April 27, 2022, the Minister of Health, Honorable Jane Ruth Achieng, updated
the public in a televised statement on the current COVID -19 situation and
the new measures that the country is undertaking in light of the evolving pandemic as follows:

Amendments on travel restrictions

Given the changing COVID-19 epidemiology, in the country, Ministry of
Health (MoH)
has updated travel restrictions and testing requirements for
both outbound and incoming travelers.

The requirement of PCR testing by all incoming and outgoing travelers at
Entebbe International Airport has been adjusted as follow:

·         All inbound and outbound travelers will be required to show proof
of full COVID-19 vaccinations except for travelers aged 5 years and below

·         Requirement for PCR test done within 72 hours preboarding for all
incoming travelers is suspended with immediate effect for those who are
fully vaccinated

·         Requirement for negative PCR test done within 72 hours for all
outbound travelers is suspended with immediate effect for those who are
fully vaccinated, except where it is a requirement of the destination
country or the carrier airline

·         Travelers with partial or no vaccination will be required to
present a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of arrival.

·         Travelers below 5 years of age are not required to present a negative
PCR test upon arrival or departure

To ensure appropriate COVID-19 surveillance among travelers, The Ministry
will be undertaking scheduled and random sampling for COVID-19 testing for
inbound travelers. The details of random targeting will be announced in
due course.

According to World Health Organization’s recommendations, the countries can consider adjusting mandatory requirement of wearing a face mask at all times when the COVID-19 vaccination coverage is at 70% of the general population:

·         Fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to wear face
masks when they are outdoors provided there are no crowds

·         Wearing of face masks when one is indoors or in closed spaces
like public transport, shops, schools, and offices etc. where 2 meters
distance can’t be observed with other individuals is required whether one
is vaccinated or not

·         The vulnerable or high-risk population ie. The elderly aged 50
years and above and people living with co-morbidities irrespective of age
are advised to wear a face mask at all times whether they are vaccinated or
not

To date, Uganda has registered 164,118 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and
3,596 deaths. There is a massive drop in the number of admissions at health
facilities with only two admission both of whom were not vaccinated.

A total of 44. 734,030 doses of various COVID-19 vaccines have been
received in the country through donations and direct procurement of which
15, 268, 403 have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
accounting for 71% of the target population of 22 million.

10, 250,742 people have been fully vaccinated accounting for 48% of the target
population and 59,542,000 have received their booster dose.

The Ministry will embark on vaccination of schoolchildren from 5 to 17 years old with the Pfizer vaccine approved for use in children.

About the author

Tony Ofungi - eTN Uganda

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