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COVID-19: TRAVELLING FROM AND TO UGANDA

Monday, 25th October 2021


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND PROCEDURES IN RELATION TO THE MANDATORY COVID-19 PCR TESTING FOR ALL INCOMING PASSENGERS AT ENTEBBE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

In light of the global challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of importing new variants from high-risk countries, the Government of Uganda is to undertake mandatory testing of all incoming passengers at Entebbe International Airport and all ports of entry in order to reduce on the risk of further spread of the virus.

All arriving passengers (including children above 6 years) irrespective of vaccination status or country of origin, will be required to undertake a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test on arrival at the Airport. This is in addition to the negative PCR test certificate required to have been obtained within 72 hours prior to departure from country of origin.

All travelling passengers are requested to note the following:

1 - What are the requirements for arriving passengers to Uganda?

Arriving passengers should hold a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued within 72 hours from the time of sample collection to boarding aircraft leaving country of origin.

2 - What are the other requirements/arrival process for arriving passengers?

  • Before departure from the country of origin to Entebbe International Airport, passengers are advised to pay an online fee of 30 US Dollars for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test to be conducted on arrival at the airport (https://covidpay.postbank.co.ug). For those unable to pay online, there are other payment options on arrival detailed in 3 (below).
  • On arrival at the airport, all passengers will be required to go through the recommended Port health procedure of identifying body temperature, symptoms and thereafter directed to a team of laboratory specialists to take a COVID-19 swab for testing. The arrival test only applies to those entering the country (transit passengers are exempted).
  • After taking their swab, passengers will be directed back to the terminal to go through the immigration process. From the arrival immigration counters, passengers will proceed to the conveyor belts to pick their respective baggage and then go through customs clearance processes, in case of any taxable items.
  • From the customs area, passengers will exit the terminal to an arranged passenger holding area to wait for their PCR test results, which shall be availed to them after about two hours and thirty minutes or less.
3 - What should passengers expect at the passenger holding area?
  • Passengers that may not have paid for their testing fees online will have the opportunity to pay for their testing fees at the various Post Bank kioks located in the holding area.
  • Passengers will be able to exchange currency and also have an option of paying for their testing fees using mobile money services, visa, credit cards or make cash payments at the various Post Bank Uganda kiosks.
4 - How long do passengers have to wait for their PCR test results?
  • From the time when a sample is collected on arrival, the passenger is expected to wait for a maximum of two hours and thirty minutes before release of the test results.
  • Results will be sent to passengers by SMS or WhatsApp. Display monitors strategically placed in the holding area will also be used as well as the public address system to announce readiness of results.
  • On receipt of the results, only passengers with negative COVID-19 PCR test certificates will be permitted to leave the holding area to proceed to their final destinations. Passengers with positive COVID-19 PCR test results will be isolated by the Port health staff and treated according to the Ministry of Health protocol for COVID-19.
  • There is a dedicated tourism desk to facilitate tourists.
5 - What is the cost of a PCR test undertaken on arrival?
30 US Dollars or equivalent.

6 - What are the COVID 19 PCR test requirements in relation to children?
  • Children below six (6) years will be exempted from the requirement for a negative PCR test certificate if they are accompanied by parents holding a negative COVID -19 PCR test certificate. They will also be exempted from the arrival test.
7 - How will passengers who test positive on arrival be handled?
  • Passengers who test positive on arrival will be provided psychosocial support and transferred to the gazetted public and private treatment facilities where they will be managed for 7 days and discharged following a negative PCR test. The treatment will be free in public hospitals. However, passengers who opt for private hospitals will meet their own costs.
  • In the case of arriving tourists, if they are asymptomatic or with mild disease, they will be managed in the designated tourist hotels. The tourists who may progress to severe disease will be transferred to hospitals of their choice.
8 - What are the requirements for departing passengers?
  • Passengers departing Uganda through Entebbe International Airport (EIA) must have an authentic negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued within 72 hours from the time of sample collection to boarding aircraft. In case the destination country's PCR test time requirements defer, they take priority.
  • All COVID-19 PCR test certificates for departing passengers MUST indicate TRAVEL as the intended purpose of test.
  • Passengers departing EIA are required to know, understand, and interpret COVID-19 requirements of the country they are travelling to.
9 - How do passengers overcome curfew restrictions while in Uganda?
  • Passengers departing in curfew time with a valid air ticket shall be allowed to proceed to their destination airport by presentation of the passenger ticket to the authorities as evidence of going to the airport. Similarly, arriving passengers can present their passenger ticket or boarding pass as evidence of travel from the airport. Branded Airport taxis are also available from the airport.
10 - What are the requirements for air transportation of human remains into the country?

The following conditions should be fulfilled:
  • Medical certificate of cause of death
  • Post-mortem report or Comprehensive Medical Report from the attending doctor/health facility
  • Embalming certificate (including embalming certificate for death due to COVID-19)
  • Copy of passport/identification document of the deceased (The original passport/travel document/identification document to be presented to immigration authorities)
  • Import license/import authorization from the Director General of Health Services
  • Appropriate packaging  wrapped in a water proof body bag then placed in a zinc lined coffin and outer metal or wooden box
  • The documents will be verified by Port Health and the casket shall be decontaminated by Port Health on arrival
  • The burial of bodies of COVID-19 victims will be conducted following the existing procedure for scientific burials.

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