Coronavirus: Uganda reopens borders for passengers

Coronavirus: Uganda reopens borders for passengers

Uganda has reopened its international borders for the first time since March when they were closed as a control measure against the coronavirus pandemic.

The East African country closed its borders to passenger travel even before it registered its first case of Covid-19, but continued to allow both land and air cargo.

The national carrier, Uganda Airlines, on Thursday morning ran its regional flights to Nairobi, Kenya, and Mogadishu, Somalia, as scheduled.

Other international airlines have also been landing and taking off.

The civil aviation authority has advised out-bound travellers to be at the airport at least four hours before scheduled departure.

Immigration officials at the airport are encouraging passengers to use self-service booths where available to minimise contact.

Passengers coming into Uganda will be required to present a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of their departure.

Those who present a negative test will not be required to go into isolation.

But if someone arrives without a test certificate, a sample will be taken and they will be made to quarantine at their own cost as they await results.

The country experienced a rise in coronavirus cases in September, averaging about 1,000 new cases per week. Total cases are at over 8,000.

Although the government has been working to increase the number of beds and the capacity of isolation centres across the country, health workers who have spoken to the BBC worry that resources might be stretched if cases continue to rise.

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