Uganda’s Entebbe International airport reopens
Uganda’s Entebbe International airport reopens: The long-awaited for news has been stamped and sealed. The Entebbe International Airport of Uganda is scheduled to reopen on the 1st of October after the closure earlier in the year. The Entebbe international airport was closed on the 22nd of March following the pandemic that broke out all over the world. This pandemic was the COVID-19 disease that was first detected in China in December and spread out around the world even overseas. COVID-19 is a viral disease that is spread through the air or touching of contaminated surfaces. The Entebbe international airport being a public facility used by people from different walks of life was a liability thus the decision by the President of Uganda H.E Museveni Kaguta Yoweri to halt any movements in and out of the country.
The closure of the Entebbe International airport was followed by the closure of the land borders as well and the rest of the country was put under lockdown for 3 months. This was a measure to curb the spread of the virus into the country or limit the number of new cases with in the country. The COVID-19 pandemic has been present in the country after the first case was discovered arriving in at the Entebbe international airport on the 20th of March from Dubai. This case raised worry among the Ugandans and they agreed with the closure of the airport.
The tourism industry of Uganda was one of the sectors that were majorly hit by this airport closure as they depend most on the visitors flying into the country and crossing the land borders as their clientele.
The Entebbe international airport has been out of service for passenger flights since March but finally, after putting in place the necessary standard operating procedures (SOPs), the government of Uganda along with the President has decided to open up the Entebbe international airport to passengers as long as the new SOPs have been followed. Works have been on going at the airport for the past six months to see to it that when the airport is finally reopened on the 1st of October 2020, the airport staff is ready to receive them.
Cargo planes and truck drivers have been able to fly in and out of the country and cross within borders as essential workers while the passenger flights and the tourism and private vehicles were halted from flying or crossing the borders. Following the presidential address that was given on the 22nd of September 2020, the land borders and the Entebbe International airport are to open on the 1st of October 2020. There were a few guidelines given to anyone wishing to visit the country from their home country.
One of the key guidelines following the relaxation of the COVID-19 preventive measures is once an individual is interested in flying into Uganda or is booked to fly into Uganda; they will have to provide a COVID-19 negative test was taken 72 hours before the arrival date. If you do not have this test, you will definitely be denied access to the country. You will be expected to also take a test as you exit the country.
Hotels and the restaurants are also open and expecting to host the tourists and this brings hope to the tourism sector as the sector had been put off for the past months in the COVID-19 prevention measures. The hotels and the airport have put in place the standard operating procedures like social distancing sitting arrangements, sanitizing points and less use of hard cash and more of POS (Point Of Sale) system for card transactions.
Tour driver guides will also be expected to have routine tests done in between destinations and clients and it will also be their role to ensure the standard operating procedures at the different facilities and the vehicle being used are being followed. While on your safari, your interaction with the local community will be limited for only where it is utmost necessary.
The carrying capacity of the tour vehicle has also been reduced to half the original capacity so if a safari vehicle was originally supposed to carry 6 individuals you will have to be 3 in the vehicle in the parks.
All the 10 national parks of Uganda that is Kibale Forest national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Mount Elgon national park, Lake Mburo National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Murchison falls national park, Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park, Mount Rwenzori national park, Semuliki national park, and Kidepo valley national park are open and ready to welcome you back to visit and enjoy the beauty and what the pearl of Africa has to offer. We have carried out a number of successful safaris in Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya and we eagerly waiting to hear from you. Get in touch with us to take you to your preferred destination in any of the above-mentioned destinations. (Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport reopens)