The president of Uganda 20th, September 2020 announced the opening of Uganda’s international airport and land borders. This he noted was aimed at resumption tourists to the country after a period of more than six months as a measure against the spread of COVID-19. The announcement was made in the president’s 20th address to the nation on measures undertaken by the government measures to contain coronavirus in the country. This comes as welcome news to the tourism fraternity who have lost revenue and jobs as a result of a slump in tourism activities. The national parks in June fully opened to tourism under strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) but have seen slow progress as a result of the closure of the international borders to visitors.
As part of the additional measures to keep the country safe from further spread of the coronavirus, the President said that any passengers arriving in the country must have a negative COVID-19 polymerize chain reaction (PCR) test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin. The test should have been conducted within the last 72 hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin. “Returning Ugandans with negative PCR results will be allowed to go home, and the Health Ministry will only get their addresses for follow up,” he added.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority Executive Director Mr Sam Mwandha was delighted that tourists abroad will be able to come to the country and enjoy the country’s attractions. This however will only be possible with the strict observance of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) put in place by the government to protect staff, tourists and wildlife under protection. “We are ready to receive visitors in our protected areas. We have kept the wildlife and other attractions safe and we are now waiting for visitors to come and enjoy the beauty of Uganda.” He welcomed all the visitors intending to travel to Uganda and emphasized that parks are safe places to visit.
The other restrictions partially lifted to begin operations included schools to open for candidate classes next month, while places of worship will open with strict standard operating procedures.
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority in a letter to the airlines' executives said 13 flights to and from the airport have been cleared for the first day of the opening, while 10 flights are confirmed for the second.
Airlines in the country to resume operations include the national carrier Uganda Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, Air Tanzania, Ethiopian Airlines, FlyDubai, RwandAir, KLM, Emirates, Brussels Airlines, and Tarco Aviation.