After six months of closure due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, President Museveni has allowed reopening of institutions of learning beginning with only candidate classes.
Museveni made the long-awaited pronouncement while addressing the nation at State House Nakasero on Sunday night.
“We have decided to reopen schools with candidate classes of P7, senior four, senior six, finalists in tertiary colleges and finalists in universities,” he said.
Museveni who noted that final year students are 1.2 million, make less than 10% of 15 million learners in the country.
This, he said, will make final year students have enough space to observe social distancing which is one of the measures of curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Although he allowed final year students to go back to school, Museveni said schools will open for finalists on October 15, 2020.
However, Museveni noted that a solution of non-finalists will be determined in January 2020.
For the case of private schools which have been significantly affected by the pandemic, the President said that the recently announced 20 billion shillings bailout by Government is not a loan but rather a grant.
“This a grant, not a loan by Government, of 20 billion shillings. We shall continue to study and see how Government can continue to affordably support these Ugandans (teachers),” he said.
He ordered the Ministry of Finance to meet private schools to see how they can be supported by Government.
Furthermore, Museveni said that distance learning will continue.
The program by Government to distribute a radio stations to every home to facilitate distance learning, he said, will go on.
“I want Ugandans to understand the importance of distance learning. In other countries, students are studying. This route of distance learning is a very good route and we are going to consolidate it said Museveni.
AIRPORT AND INTERNATIONAL BORDERS.
“The international Airport and land borders will now be open for tourists coming in and going out provided they tested negative 72 hours before arrival in Uganda and provided the tour operators ensure that the tourists do not mix with Ugandans,” said Museveni.
The tourists, he added, will be driven straight from the Airport to their destinations or the hotels that are set aside for them.
Business delegations, he said, should as well be handled in the same way by local partners.
The Ugandans returning from abroad with PCR test results will not be quarantined but rather go to their homes directly where the Health Ministry will be supervising them
Movement restrictions in border Districts have also been lifted.
The curfew time from 6am to 9pm has been maintained. However, bodabodas are supposed to stop their operations at 6pm.
PLACES OF WORSHIP.
The President has allowed reopening of places of worship with strict guidelines.
Only players or fellowships of less than 70 people are allowed.
Anyone visiting the clergymen to confess their sins will be allowed.
However, trans night prayers and Sunday school are banned.
Museveni said open air activities of sports will reopen provided there are no spectators.
Players must be tested for COVID-19 72 hours to the match and must be retested every after 2 weeks.
Indoor sports such as gyms, casinos, cinema halls remain closed.
Bars also remain closed.
Hotels will continue operating following SOPs while restaurants should continue doing takeaways.
Monthly markets and mass gatherings also remain banned.