Uganda Airport and Borders to reopen effective 1st October 2020
Uganda Airport and Borders to reopen effective 1st October 2020: Tourism in Uganda is one of the top foreign exchange earners but with the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic it has been badly off due to the closure of Entebbe international airport because tourists were no longer coming into the country. When Uganda reported its first case of COVID 19 in march the president of Uganda declared a total lockdown which meant the closure of the airport, all borders and the Uganda wildlife authority suspended all tourist visitations in the protected areas and since then tourism sector came to standstill because many tourists canceled their bookings therefore no revenue was brought in by the foreign tourists who visited Uganda mainly for gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi impenetrable national park and wildlife safari in the savannah national parks.
In June the Uganda wildlife authority (UWA) reopened the savannah national parks which include Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley national park, Lake Mburo national park and Semuliki national park to start receiving domestic tourists and foreigners who are already in the country, the tourism sites were opened on condition that they follow the standard operating procedures (SOPS) and COVID-19 prevention guidelines that were issued by the ministry of health which included hand wash/sanitization facilities to be provided at the entrances of protected areas, having a mandatory temperature screening at all entrances of the protected areas, carrying half capacity travelers, visitors carrying their own masks, allowing only five visitors to enter the reservations office at a time to ensure social distancing, sensitization of visitors on the general government-approved COVID 19 operational guidelines by the staff on duty, encouraging online payment, card payments and use of mobile money to minimize cash handling among others.
On 20th September the president of Uganda announced that Entebbe international airport and all land borders will reopen for tourism and other passengers on 1st October 2020. The president also said that tourists and other passengers arriving in Uganda must have a negative COVID 19 polymerize chain reaction (PCR) test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin. The test should have been conducted within the last 72 hours before the scheduled departure from your country of origin and Ugandan returnees will not be quarantined but rather move direct to their homes though the ministry of health will take their records for easy follow up while for the tourists the tour operators should ensure that they do not mix with the Ugandans.
The Uganda civil aviation authority released a letter to the airlines executive on September 8th 2020 on the first tentative schedule for international passenger flights and about 13 flights to and from the airport have been cleared for the first day while 10 flights are confirmed for the second day. Airlines in Uganda such as Uganda airlines which is the national carrier, Turkish airlines, Kenya airways, Flydubai, Rwanda air, Qatar airways, air Tanzania, Ethiopian airlines, Brussels airlines, KLM emirates and Tarco aviation are expected to resume flights
Reopening of Entebbe international airport and all borders has caused excitement among stake holders in the tourism sector, hotels and other tourism beneficiaries in Uganda because tourism has suffered heavily therefore all the savannah national parks in Uganda that is Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, Lake Mburo national park, Semuliki national park, Mount Elgon national park, Kidepo national park, Rwenzori mountains national park and primate countries which include Bwindi impenetrable national park, Kibale forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park will start welcoming both foreign and domestic tourists hence contributing to foreign revenue.
To ensure the health and safety of passengers, crew and staff, the airport will follow standard operating procedures and guidelines developed by the ministry of health such as the arrival of tourists at least four hours before the flight, going through a health check, wearing face masks at all times, maintaining social distance, washing hands and use of sanitizers and Uganda wildlife authority(UWA) also designed standard operating procedures for tourists in the national parks and they include wearing of face masks while with park guides, washing hands, sanitizing and having their temperatures taken before going for chimpanzee and gorilla trekking among others.
Protected areas in Uganda offer interesting activities to tourists such as gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park and Budongo forest, game drives in, boat cruise, guided nature walks, bird watching, mountain climbing among others which can be experienced by coming on a safari in the pearly of Africa with Achieve global safaris.