Uganda suspends mandatory COVID testing for travelers
Uganda has announced the suspension of mandatory COVID-19 testing for travelers arriving in the country.
The landlocked East African country had previously required all travelers arriving from abroad to undergo fresh COVID-19 testing regardless of having a negative PCR result from their country of travel.
In a statement issued late Wednesday, Henry Mwebesa, the director-general of health services at the Health Ministry, said all incoming travelers arriving via Entebbe International Airport will no longer be required to take a new mandatory COVID-19 test.
Mwebesa said the decision was made by the Cabinet based on a decline in the reporting of new COVID-19 cases as well as a reduction in the global threat of new variants of concern, hence a reduced risk of importation.
COVID-19 infections have been decreasing in Uganda, with less than 70 new cases reported on average each day. The country recorded 36 new cases on Sunday, 63 on Monday, and 47 on Wednesday.
According to the US-based Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, Uganda has so far reported 162,932 COVID-19 infections and 3,582 deaths.
However, the requirement for COVID-19 testing two hours ahead of boarding the plane for both incoming and outbound passengers will remain in place, it added.
“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,” Anadolu Agency quoting Works and Transport Minister Katumba Wamala told parliament.
Many travelers to Uganda had expressed anger at the mandatory testing, which was both costly and time-consuming.