BY SALIM KALANZI
Effective February 16, the government of Uganda suspended mandatory COVID-19 testing at the Entebbe International Airport after a cabinet meeting.
A statement from the Ministry of Health noted that the suspension follows a decline in positive cases identified at the airport, reduction in global threat of new variants of concern, and therefore reduced risk of importation of new variants that will increase community transmission.
Following the full reopening of the airport in October 2020, all travellers were required to pay sh105,500 ($30) to be tested be they traveled.
The directive meant that despite having a negative result from tests taken 72 hours before flying in, travellers arriving at the airport had to undergo mandatory tests before being allowed into the community.
” The requirement for COVID-19 testing 72 hours before boarding for both incoming and exiting traveled remains in effect. Our health workers will continue to screen all travellers both at arrival and departure and verify their COVID-19 test certificates,” says Dr. Henry Mwebesa, director-general of health services at the Health Ministry.
Records from the health ministry show that the number of new COVID-19 cases has gone down. The positivity rate in the country now stands at 1%.
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Transport Ministry Gen Katumba Wamala noted that the authorities will however maintain selective testing for some travelers who show signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
“For incoming travelers, there will be selective testing, especially if somebody comes with the test results from the last 72 hours and has symptoms. That person will be picked and tested,” he added.