Government resolves to open airport, churches

The Covid-19 National Taskforce headed by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has proposed the reopening of Entebbe airport, borders, places of worship and universities for final year medical students.

According to the proposals sent to President Museveni on Monday, the taskforce maintained the closure of schools, bars and public gyms, among others.

The taskforce proposed that ministries of Education and Health will study the possibility of reopening the schools.
On prayer centres, the taskforce said worship places should reopen but the number of worshippers should not exceed 70.
In the same proposal, the team dropped the consideration for a lockdown in Kampala city.

Sources who attended the meeting on Monday said the proposals were sent to President Museveni for final consideration and approval.

On Saturday, President Museveni directed the taskforce to discuss reopening of schools across the country in a phased manner starting with candidate classes.

He also directed the taskforce to consider reopening of other sectors that have been closed since the lockdown in March such as places of worship, bars, weekly markets, tourism and the airport.

A source, who attended the taskforce meeting on Monday, said they came up with nine recommendations to the President.

The taskforce recommended that Entebbe airport and borders should reopen on October 1.

The taskforce said Covid regulations should be strictly enforced in Kampala with penalties, which include community work and fines to those who defy the guidelines.

They also proposed to government to set up a special lane for ambulances with police escort.
There has been speculation in the public and threats from some officials that the government would impose another lockdown in Kampala following rising numbers of new Covid-19 cases.

The Rugunda team also proposed that foreigners on a tourist visa should possess a Covid free certificate valid for 72 hours.

Dr Monica Musenero, the senior presidential adviser on epidemics, confirmed the proposals, but added that they were not final.

She said the recommendations would be further discussed in another taskforce meeting that was slated to be chaired by Mr Museveni yesterday.

Mr Museveni is slated to address the nation about the outcomes of yesterday’s meeting but no date has been set.

COVID TASKFORCE PROPOSALS

• Airport and borders should open on 1 October

•Foreigners on a tourist visa should come with a Covid free PCR certificate valid for 72 hours

•Kampala lockdown proposal dropped

• A special lane for ambulance should be created with police escort

•Covid regulations be strictly enforced with penalties, including community work and fines.

•Final year medical students be allowed to complete

•Ministries of education and health to study the possibility of other schools opening

•Churches to open but with not more than 70 worshippers at a service

•Private gyms allowed, public gyms barred

•Bars remain closed

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