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Coronavirus lockdown in Uganda travel health

Coronavirus lockdown in Uganda travel health

For International travelers Land borders are open to cargo and registered tourist vehicles only. Commercial flights are operating to and from Uganda. Check with your travel company for the latest information on flights.

Entry and borders

As of 18 June land borders are restricted to cargo and registered tourist vehicles only. Commercial flights are operating. New COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) are in place for arriving and departing passengers.

If you are travelling to Uganda, you will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test certificate, issued no more than 72 hours before boarding the aircraft or crossing land borders. Foreign nationals without a valid negative test certificate will be denied entry. Children aged three and under are exempt when accompanying parents arrive with a negative test certificate.

To all travellers from the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United States are required to undergo PCR testing at the border at their own expense, including at Entebbe International Airport, unless they have received their full COVID-19 vaccination, can provide evidence of this and show no COVID-19 symptoms.

The cost of the PCR test will be up $65. Travellers from the above countries who arrive by air and are not fully vaccinated will be taken from the airport to a nearby testing site. Test results will take up to 4 hours. Travellers have the option of waiting at the testing site for their results or checking into a designated hotel at their own expense. Anyone who tests positive (including children, with their parent or guardian) will be taken to a Ministry of Health designated COVID-19 isolation facility. Passengers who have been in India in the previous 14 days will not be permitted entry into Uganda unless they are Ugandans returning home.

Passengers arriving or departing from Entebbe International Airport can only be picked up or dropped off by a maximum of two people, including the driver, in order to avoid crowding. Vehicles with more than the authorised number of people will not be allowed access to the airport.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. Some airlines have refused to allow passengers who have used NHS tests to travel. You should arrange to take a private test.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status

Uganda has not yet confirmed that it will accept the UK solutions for demonstrating your COVID vaccination status. You should follow guidance for alternative entry requirements. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination.

Testing/Screening on arrival

Arriving passengers will be subject to temperature checks and will be screened for infectious diseases by the Port Health authorities. If a passengers shows signs or symptoms of any infectious disease they will taken by ambulance to a local isolation centre to undergo a COVID-19 test at their own cost. Test results will be returned within 24 to 48 hours; passengers will be expected to remain at the isolation centre until the test results are returned.

If a foreign national tests positive for COVID-19 and wishes to be repatriated for treatment outside of Uganda, they will be expected to cover the costs themselves.

Testing / screening on departure
Departing passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, issued no more than 72 hours before travel. The 72 hours begins on the day the sample is collected for testing. Children aged three and under are exempt when accompanying parents have a negative test certificate.

COVID-19 tests taken for the purpose of travel outside of Uganda have to be paid for, even if the test is taken at a government testing centre. From 23 November 2020, all COVID-19 test certificates issued in Uganda must indicate the intended purpose of the test. Only test certificates which state travel as the intended purpose will be valid for departure from Uganda. Test certificates which state contact or alert will not be valid for travel.

There are a number of public and private COVID-19 test centres in Uganda. For further information, please see the government COVID-19 Response website.

Departing passengers will be required to wear a face mask inside the terminal and will be subject to temperature checks. Social distancing will also be in place and only passengers with valid tickets and airport officials will be allowed into the terminal building. Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport at least 4 hours before departure.

Passengers travelling on flights departing during curfew hours (7pm to 5:30am) will be allowed to travel to the airport upon presentation of a valid ticket.

 

Returning to the UK
When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact local authorities for information on testing facilities.

Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

can access money
understand what your insurance will cover
can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Uganda

It is mandatory for everyone aged 6 or above to wear a face mask when outside your house. Further guidance is available from the Ministry of Health website.

As of 18 June the curfew has been extended from 7pm to 5:30am. Passengers travelling on flights departing during curfew hours (7pm to 5:30am) will be allowed to travel to the airport upon presentation of a valid ticket.

From 18 June 2021 until 30 July 2021 all movement by public transport and private vehicles is prohibited. There are limited exceptions to this, including for cargo vehicles, vehicles carrying patients to medical facilities, registered tourist vehicles, emergency vehicles and essential worker vehicles. The Ugandan authorities will define and communicate sectors are included as essential and therefore able to use vehicular transport. If you are unclear whether your vehicle is included within these restrictions you should consult the Ugandan authorities or your tour operator.

Boda bodas (motorbike taxis) are not permitted to carry passengers but can carry cargo, but must stop operating by 5pm.

Accommodation in Uganda

Hotels and restaurants are open with social distancing measures in place and food delivery services remain operational outside of curfew hours though may be impacted by the 5pm restriction on motorbikes and mopeds. As of the 6 June, lodges may remain open but must close their bar.

Public places and services

All public gatherings, other than those related to Uganda’s legislative or judicial processes, have been banned until 22 July 2021. As of 18 June 2021, food markets and retail shops (including pharmacies) may remain open. Other service sectors must close for 42 days . Bars and night clubs are specifically prohibited from operating. On 6 June, the Government stated that house parties are banned and cinemas closed.

As of 18 June 2021, places of worship will be closed and sports events prohibited for 42 days. Marriages and funerals are permitted but with a maximum of 20 attendees and must observe COVID rules strictly. All schools and other educational institutions are closed for 42 days.

Healthcare in Uganda

There are a number of public and private COVID-19 tests centres in Uganda. For further information on the outbreak in Uganda, please see the Ugandan Government COVID-19 Response website.

If a foreign national tests positive for COVID-19 and wishes to be repatriated for treatment outside of Uganda, they will be expected to cover the costs themselves.

For contact details for English speaking doctors, if you are running low on medication or require emergency medical treatment, you should contact one of the medical practitioners on this list. They will be able to discuss your situation over the phone and advise on the best course of action. Some hospitals and pharmacies are able to deliver medication to you. All major pharmacies in Kampala and surrounding towns are able to read and understand prescriptions issued by UK doctors. UK issued prescriptions are accepted but you should be aware that pharmacies in Uganda do not always stock the same range of medication found in UK pharmacies. British nationals are therefore advised to travel with adequate stocks of their medication for the duration of their stay in Uganda.

A significant rise in COVID-19 cases in June and July 2021 has placed the Ugandan healthcare system under severe strain. The already limited facilities outside of Kampala are particularly affected. Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Uganda

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. As further information is available about the national vaccination programme, this page will be updated. Sign up to get email notifications.

The Ugandan Ministry of Health’s national COVID19 vaccination programme began on 10 March 2021. If you are resident in Uganda you can access the vaccine in line with the eligibility requirements and order of prioritisation as set out by the Ministry of Health. More information is available at the Ministry of Heath’s COVID-19 vaccination webpage.

You should continue to monitor the Ugandan Ministry of Health website and twitter for further information on how to obtain the vaccine.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines. It has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines for temporary supply and use in the UK.

British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside. Information about vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities. This list of Stringent Regulatory Authorities recognised by the World Health Organisation may also be a useful source of additional information. Find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccines on the World Health Organization COVID-19 vaccines page.