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The Pearl Opens For Your Gaze, Once More

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020

Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is once more open to the gaze of the discerning and curious traveler keen to sample the beauty of the Mother Continent of Humanity.  To all who have been waiting, our Mission in New Delhi says: Welcome to Uganda; the Pearl of Africa.

The resumption of flights to Entebbe International Airport for tourists and Ugandans returning home on 1st October, will mark the opening up of the country to international travel and business. In his 20thaddress to the nation since the COVID-19 outbreak on Sunday, 20thSeptember, the Ugandan President also relaxed restrictions on schools and religious places of worship.

With regard to schools and universities, the opening pertains to only those doing examinations; while churches may gather for worship and praise with congregations of not more than 70 people.  The lifting of lockdown on educational institutions and places of worship will begin on 15thOctober. Public sports activities such as football matches, have been cleared to resume though no spectators will be allowed to gather to watch them.

The opening up of the country to international tourism is a comprehensive move: complete with the lifting of restrictions on entry at all border points of entry. Entebbe Airport will open to international traffic on 1st October, 2020, along with all of the borders of the country. President Museveni made it clear however, that tourists and returning nationals and residents would have to comply with the new normal. They must carry out COVID-19 tests, at least 72 hours before travel to Uganda; and arrive with certifying documents to that effect. In addition, tourists will not be allowed to mingle with the local population but will be received and assisted by tour operatives to travel to Ugandan areas of their interest. While in the country they will be expected to observe all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) put in place by the Government of Uganda. Among the SOPs which the tourist should be aware of is the lockdown on bars and casinos; although one is allowed to purchase drinks of choice and consume them in the room.

These measures are not meant to inconvenience the tourist, but to protect her or him and the Ugandan community s/he comes into contact with from the adverse virus. It is critically important for all travelers to know that the virus is putting a severe strain on medical staff and facilities globally.

On the day of the Presidential Address to the nation on COVID-19, Uganda had a cumulative number of 6,017 corona virus cases out of the global total of some 31 million people infected by the virus. The country had recorded 2,544 recoveries and had suffered 60 deaths from the virus.