KAMPALA – Government has said foreigners whose visas expired during the COVID-19 lockdown can stay in the country until normal business resumes.
Following the closure of borders and airports in March, government allowed foreigners whose visas expired during the lockdown to stay in the country up to 17th May 2020.
But on Tuesday, 19 May 2020, the Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson Jacob Siminyu said that the illegal stay of foreigners will be extended until next month when the lockdown is lifted.
“We have foreigners whom we issued a notice waiving their illegal stay in Uganda until 17th May. This has expired but at least now we know the lockdown has been extended and we know it will be lifted or on 2nd June. So we are going to issue another statement extending the amnesty for foreigners to the time when the lockdown is expired,” Siminyu said.
In another development, Mr Siminyu said there is a number of foreign truck drivers who are stranded at the Ugandan borders because they were checked for COVID-19 from their places of origin but don’t have results.
“Health Ministry will give us the record of those drivers so that we can allow them into the country. Otherwise they will have to be tested again,” he said.
On Saturday last week, the National Task Force on COVID-19 chaired by President Museveni passed a directive to allow only COVID-19 negative truck drivers enter Uganda.
This resolution was reached after the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases rapidly increased in Uganda as a result of foreign truck drivers testing positive for the COVID-19 within the country.
Meanwhile, those who were earlier tested from their respective places of origin, Siminyu said will only have their results authenticated by the Ministry of Health.
He added that initially, the Health Ministry was not issuing results to truck drivers who tested negative for COVID-19 but that has changed. All the negative COVID-19 truck drivers will also be issued with results to enable them enter the country.
“So we have asked the Health Ministry to start to start issuing results to those (truck drivers) who are negative as well because they need them to enter the country,” he said.