Uganda reinstates mandatory COVID-19 testing for inbound travelers

A health worker dressed in a protective suit as a preventive measure collects swab samples from a truck driver to be tested for coronavirus at the Elegu border point,Sally Hayden/ Getty Images

Uganda has reinstated mandatory COVID-19 testing for inbound travelers, a top official said on Wednesday.

The mandatory testing was previously supposed to start on September 3 but was suspended.

Chris Baryomunsi, minister of information, communication, technology and national guidance, said in a statement that incoming air passengers would be required to pay 30 U.S. dollars each at a bank at the country’s Entebbe International Airport before proceeding for the test.

Uganda has only one international airport, at Entebbe, about 40 kilometers south of the capital, Kampala.

Baryomunsi said the test facility at Entebbe airport will be manned by government medical workers, unlike before when the facility was outside the airport and was private.

“Passengers with tourist visas will have their samples taken but will be permitted to proceed to their respective hotels as they await the processing of their results,” he said.

Baryomunsi said similar arrangements are also being organized at land border entry points.

On August 20, the health ministry announced that all inbound travelers would be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 tests regardless of their vaccination status and that all travelers, including children, would be required to arrive with a negative PCR test result done within 72 hours prior to travel.

The new measures seek to prevent the importation of more deadly variants of COVID-19 into the country.

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