Gov’t to start jetting in Ugandans stuck abroad

The government has finalized plans to fly home Ugandans stuck aboard due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, starting with those in South Africa.

According to an announcement on Sunday, Uganda Airlines will this week on June 25, 2020 fly home Ugandans stuck in South Africa.

“Uganda Airlines will operate a repatriation charter flight for Ugandans in South Africa; Johannesburg to Entebbe on 25th June 2020,” the national carrier posted on its social media pages.

The Ugandans have however been asked to purchase their tickets early enough so as not to miss the flight back home.

In preparation for returning Ugandans home, all the four Uganda Airlines aircraft on Friday carried out successful test flights for the first time since the lockdown began.

On Sunday, the Minister for Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng told journalists that preparations to have all Ugandans stuck abroad repatriated are still going on but said they ought to make their bookings.

“It is not us booking for them. No flight will move unless it is full so there has to be a coordination mechanism since Ugandans are not in one country,” Aceng said.

She noted that the coordination is being carried out by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cabinet recently approved the return of over 2400 Ugandans stranded in 66 countries abroad amid the Coronavirus at their own cost and according to the Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, this will be done in a phased manner.

Tough guidelines

Last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released guidelines to be followed by Ugandans as they return home.

According to the procedures, any Ugandan citizen willing to return home must register at the Ugandan embassy with a Ugandan passport, national ID or residence/ work permit.

They are also expected to explain circumstances under which they got stranded abroad, contact of the next of kin in Uganda including their phone number and LC1 location.

Each returnee must indicate to the responsible embassy their choice of quarantine facility in Uganda where they will spend 14 days.

A list of 37 quarantine centres including high-end private hotels for self- pay, budget/ medium-end private hotels also for self -pay where each person is required to pay shs150,000 per night and public facilities has been put in place.

According to the government, no relatives or friends will be allowed to meet or pick a returnee from the airport on arrival in Uganda.

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