Uganda announces further easing of Covid-19 restrictions

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Travellers queue to buy bus tickets while adhering to social distancing measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Namirembe Bus Park in Kampala, Uganda, on June 04, 2020, the first day of re-opening public transport. - The President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni announced to lift the suspension of public transport which has been suspended since March 22, 2020, but all borders still remain closed except for limited goods and authorised emergency flights. (Photo by Badru KATUMBA / AFP) (Photo by BADRU KATUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Travellers queue to buy bus tickets while adhering to social distancing measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 at the Namirembe Bus Park in Kampala, Uganda. (Photo by BADRU KATUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Uganda’s Ministry of Health has announced an easing of restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

A maximum of 200 people will be allowed to attend mass gatherings for prayers, political rallies, meetings and weddings. Cinemas, gyms, massage parlors and mobile markets will be allowed to open as from November 14.

“All aspiring politicians should ensure that their gatherings are limited to 200 people at most and everyone must wear a face mask at all times, maintain a physical distance and make available hand washing facilities with soap and water,” Health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said.

Previously, not more than 70 people were allowed to attend mass gatherings.

Casinos and gaming outlets will also be allowed to resume operations from the same date with their operating hours running between 6:30am to 7:00pm local time.

However, bars and discotheques will remain closed, according to Aceng.

“Considering the phase of the epidemic Uganda is in, with rising cases and deaths in urban areas, suspension on bars and discotheques will continue.”

Uganda has recorded a steady increase in coronavirus cases. Despite this, the government eased a number of COVID-19-related restrictions with President Yoweri Museveni arguing that the country could not perpetually remain under restrictions with the future of the economy at stake.

On Monday, the ministry reported 171 new confirmed cases taking the nationwide total to 14,574. The number of deaths in the East African country rose to 133 after one additional death was reported while the number of recoveries remained at 7,771.

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