President Museveni has said public and private transport which were banned in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 will resume operations but with strict regulations.
Making his 14th presidential address on COVID-19 on Monday night, Museveni said that taxis, buses and minibuses will have to carry a half of their capacity and every passenger must be putting on a mask.
“We shall allow the regulated opening of public transport means of minibuses, buses, taxis provided they carry only a half of their normal capacity,” said Museveni.
However, to ensure that every passenger has a mask, the President said Government will provide masks to all Uganda above the age of 6 years free of charge and will be distributed through the Local Council system.
It will however take two weeks for Government to provide masks and therefore public transport will have to resume on June 2, 2020.
“This public transport, we are saying should resume after you get the masks because you must wait for the masks and masks will take 2 weeks to be ready and 2 weeks will be 2nd June. So we would like to open public transport for districts inside the country as long as you carry 50% (half of their carrying capacity) but this is when everybody is putting on a right mask,” Museveni clarified.
However, the opening of public transport will not be allowed in the border districts of Uganda for another 21 days.
For private cars, the President said they should have a minimum of 3 people including the driver and all of them must be wearing masks.
The measures to ease lockdown as addressed today will be activated only when each individual has received a standard mask distributed by the government of Uganda.
Shopping malls and arcades will remain closed but shops selling general merchandise will open provided they are not in shopping malls and arcades.
“We cannot allow the opening of these (malls and arcades) because it is impossible observe social distancing in these malls or arcades. That is why they should remain closed for now.”
However the shops that are allowed to open must observe the rules of social distancing all the time.
The customers should not crowd in the shop and should observe 4-metre distance.
Meanwhile, people who have been sleeping in Markets have now been permitted to move home and back to markets daily.
Bars, night clubs, gyms, salons, swimming pools will remain closed for another 21 days.
International borders and airports will also remain closed so that additional cases are not imported from outside.
Only learners in candidate classes will be allowed to go to school to resume studies.
“The only possible safe action we can do now is to open for the end of education phase candidate classes,” said Museveni.
These include candidates in primary seven, senior four, senior six, the undergraduate finalists, tertiary college finalists and the post graduate finalists.
By opening for only candidate classes, Museveni said there will be enough space in the schools to avoid overcrowding and observe the social distancing.
Curfew from 7:00pm to 6:30am remains in place for another 21 days.
Hotels, food restaurants are allowed to open as long as clients can observe social distancing and there is no air conditioning.