Entebbe International Airport and land borders re-opened
Entebbe International Airport and land borders re-opened: Entebbe international airport had been closed to tourists since March 2020 after the president of the Republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed the closure of Entebbe international airport and all other land border entry points. The closure of Entebbe international airport hit the Travel and tourism sector of Uganda so hard that the tourism sector had to close for a great number of months.
However, as of 20th/September/2020, the president of Uganda His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced on his 20th address to the Nation on government measures to contain the spend of the COVID 19 pandemic and operate businesses ordering that the country’s international airport and land borders to reopen and resume operations for tourists after a more than six-month closure as part of measures against the spread of COVID-19. This has been the greatest new for the Uganda tourism sector.
Entebbe International airport has been scheduled to re-open on October 1, 2020, ending at least six months of lockdown. The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority which is a government agency responsible for licensing and regulating civil aviation matters in a letter to the airlines’ executives said that 13 airline flights to and from Entebbe airport have been cleared operate flights while about 10 flights will be confirmed on the second day after reopening. These airlines include; Uganda Airlines, Ethiopia Airlines, Rwanda Air, Turkish Airlines, Air Tanzania, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Fly Dubai, KLM Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Kenya Airways and Tarco Aviation.
Guidelines put in place for the re-opening of the Entebbe international airport and land borders
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority stablished guidelines that must be followed by tourists when the airport re-opens on the 1st/October/2020 and has borrowed and domesticated several operating standard procedures from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Airports Council International, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency and the African Civil Aviation Commission. The following guidelines will be practices as soon as passenger operations resume.
The president of Uganda said that all passengers arriving in Uganda must possess a valid COVID 19 certificate or polymerize chain reaction (PCR) test result from an accredited laboratory in their country of origin.
This test must be issued to them 3 days (72 hours) from their country of origin before the scheduled departure and it is a mandatory test for all arrivals at Entebbe international airport and all land borders Passengers found with any of the COVID 19 symptoms will be blocked from accessing the exist point. If tested negative, the passengers will be allowed to proceed to their destination in Uganda without any problem. However, all visitors will be limited from mixing with the local people.
If a tourist shows symptoms of COVID 19 during their stay in Uganda, he/she will incur the cost of $65 only as a recovery mechanism that will enable the Ministry of Health to acquire tests for your treatment while you also incur cost of self-quarantine.
The Ministry of Health strongly recommends in the prevention of the spend of the pandemic during your stay in Uganda to follow the prevention measures provided including; a thorough health check that will be done on you upon arrival, wearing of face masks at all times, maintaining social distance, washing of hands at any given point, and use of sanitisers will be mandatory for all. The setup of these strict measures were intended to allow the listed airlines keep passengers safe and prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Wearing of face masks is highly recommended of all passengers and staff. Other tools established at the Entebbe airport include; three ultra-modern scans that detect temperatures at a distance of 20 meters, installation of automated sanitizers at strategic points at the airport and deployment of temperature guns that will help in maximizing the spread of the pandemic and social distancing. These tools are installed in the waiting areas/lounges, wash rooms have been changed to non-touch faucets, Very Important Persons (VIP) rooms, at the glass shields to minimise contact between the staff and the passengers.