KAMPALA – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued stringent standard procedures that Ugandans seeking to return from abroad must follow in order to avoid carrying Covid-19 into the country.
Cabinet recently approved to allow Ugandans who are stranded abroad due to the closure of Entebbe Airport and of the borders following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to guidelines issued by Amb. Patrick Mugoya, the Permanent Secretary, a citizen of Uganda or a legal resident intending to travel back to Uganda under the arrangement of returning stranded nationals (returnee) must register with the nearest Embassy of Uganda/High Commission.
“They must provide the following information; a.)Ugandan Passport number, National ID or Residence/Work permit; b.)Circumstances under which they got stranded abroad; c.)Contact information of the next of kin in Uganda i.e. Telephone Number & LC 1 location; d.)Evidence of hospitalization for those who are returning from medical treatment abroad,” the guidelines read in part.
The returnee must sign and deposit at the responsible Embassy/High Commission an undertaking to undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 done at his/her current area of residence and again on arrival in Uganda.
The returnee should indicate to the responsible Embassy/High Commission their choice of quarantine facility in Uganda. The available choices include both public centers and private hotels. See list of the approved quarantine centers (public and private) below
The returnee will sign and deposit with the responsible Embassy/High Commission , a commitment to undergo a minimum of 14 days quarantine in the facility which they will have chosen from the list provided and to fullyText Box: 2ccomply with the National Guidelines for Quarantine in the Context of COVID19 that are issued by the Ministry of Health of Uganda;
The returnees who opt to be quarantined in a private hotel will meet the cost of their own quarantine.
The returnees will be responsible for making their own reservations with the airlines. The Embassy may only assist with overall coordination of the exercise.
The returnee will be required to present to the airline, proof of a negative PCR test result for COVID-19 as part of the requirements for confirmation of their flight booking. The test must have been taken at least 10 days prior to the date of the planned flight to Uganda. The PCR test for COVID-19 must have been done by a health facility that is accredited by the host Government;
While in transit, the returnee will be required to adhere to the host country Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for safe travel and the SOPs provided by the airline while on the plane. This may include wearing of a face mask and sanitizing as may be required.
Every individual traveler is advised to carry a spare mask(s) in case they need to replace the original one that they have. Used masks will only be disposed in a facility provided for that purpose;
The returnee will pay for the entire cost of their own travel up to arrival at a designated point of entry into Uganda i.e. Entebbe airport or a designated border point of entry;
On arrival in Uganda, the returnee will observe the social distancing standards established by the Government of Uganda at the airport or border point of entry and will comply fully with all port of entry safety requirements; Text Box: 3No relatives or friends will be allowed to meet or pick a returnee from the airport on arrival in Uganda.
The returnee will deposit their passport with the Immigration officers on arrival in Uganda. The passport will only be given back to the returnee after the end of the mandatory quarantine period & upon presentation to the immigration office of a certificate of release from quarantine issued by the Ministry of Health. The said certificate must additionally indicate a negative test result.
The Ministry of Health may continue to follow up on the health of the returnee after she/he has been released from quarantine.