Uganda Government Issues New Covid-19 Border Guidelines

On the 28th of March 2022, the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health issued new guidelines for the border. This came in response to the East African community sectoral council ministers’ directives that were held on the 21st of January 2022 concluding on the following matters.

Uganda will Recognize Covid-19 results from the East African community

Prior to the press release that was issued on the 28th of March 2022, travelers were required to test again at the border regardless of whether they had tested negative test results from an accredited lab in any of the East African community countries.  However, with the new directive, travelers can now test from the country they are exiting and present their test results at the border.

With these changes, travelers will no longer have to test at the border. In the same spirit, all mobile border covid-19 testing centers have been instructed by the ministry of health to vacate the borders since their services are no longer needed.

Covid-19 Test Results Are Not Required For Fully Vacinatted Travellers

Fully vaccinated travelers will not be required to present covid-19 test results at the border. The only thing that will be required for them to cross the border is proof of vaccination.

What Still Stands

All travelers entering or exiting Uganda through Entebbe international airport will still be required to be in possession of a negative PCR test certificate acquired from the ministry of health accredited covid-19 testing laboratories in Uganda not later than 72 hours before their departure through Entebbe international airport.

Those arriving through Entebbe international airport whether vaccinated or non-vacinnnated will be required to be in possession of a negative PCR test certificate acquired note later than 72 hours before their arrival at Entebbe international airport.

Travelers Complaints

Many Travelers using Entebbe international airport have continuously complained about the unfair requirement for a Covid-19 test before departing from Uganda. The common notion has always been that if your destination does not require the covid-19 test, why does Uganda ask for it yet you simply want to leave the country.

A number of travelers have claimed it is understandable to ask for a covid-19 test if your destination requires it. But with countries like the UK dropping the covid-19 test requirement on fully vaccinated travelers, it remains unclear why Uganda still requires a covid-19 test before departure.

Reasons The Government of Uganda Gives For the Covid-19 Test Requirement

The ministry of health believes that once they are able to identify an individual who was in process of exiting the country but then found positive with Covid-19, it is very possible to backtrack in order to find out where these people have been and also identify other people you might be positive thus taking due diligence to separate them from the public to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

What we should Expect

With the lifting of the land border testing requirements, the ministry of health might as well consider lifting the covid-19 testing requirement for both departing and arriving travelers in the near future. However, what still stands as of now, all travelers through Entebbe international airport are required to have a negative PCR test certificate acquired no later than 72 hours before their departure or arrival in Uganda.

Where To Test Before Departure

Covid-19 tests have become easier. Most of the big hotels in Entebbe offer in-house covid-19 testing services. The laboratories simply pick samples from the hotel instead of you going to the laboratory. But once you find yourself in a place where there are no in-house covid-19 testing services; the most recommended laboratory at the moment is Test and Fly.

They have laboratories in both Entebbe and Kampala. Other labs include Medipal, Lancet among several other laboratories.