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Uganda Moves to Reopen Entebbe Airport for Passenger Flights

After nearly six months of closure, Uganda has tentatively set October 1, 2020 as date for reopening of Entebbe international airport for passenger flights.
According to the statement issued by Al Haji Eng. Sooma Ayub, the Director Airport and Aviation Security, addressed to various airline operators, the tentative schedule is for phase 1 of reopening of international passenger flights for three months effective October 1.
The schedule was addressed to various airline operators including Uganda Airlines, Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, Air Tanzania, Ethiopian Airlines, Fly Dubai, Rwanda Air, Royal Dutch Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Brussels Airlines and Tarco Aviation.
Contacted for comment, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) Public Relations Officer, Vianney Luggya confirmed that the schedule was still being discussed.
“It is a tentative schedule that is being discussed with Air operators for planning purposes. We still await Government’s official pronouncement of the exact date. The schedule can always be adjusted accordingly,” Luggya said.
Government recently set strict aviation guidelines for airlines and travellers before reopening Entebbe International Airport.
As part of the requirements, the airlines shall ensure that travellers arrive at the airport at least four hours to boarding in order to go through health and security screening requirements.
All persons entering the airport shall wear Ministry of Health approved face masks, go through thermo screening, hand wash and sanitize hands and body at different stages.
More so, every traveller will need a COVID-19 certificate issued within 10 days before travel, observe social distancing of 1.5m throughout depart facilitation chain to aircraft boarding, many of which have been marked and screened for COVID-19 symptoms like fever, dry cough, running nose, general weakness among others.
Rwanda and Kenya have already reopened their airports.
The two countries have emphasized the need by travellers to adhere to the health guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
President Museveni closed Entebbe International Airport to all commercial flights on March 22 , 2020 and only allowed cargo and UN planes carrying humanitarian emergency in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The European Union (EU) recently urged Uganda to adopt the new coronavirus rapid tests technology as the government continues to work towards safe ways of re-opening Entebbe International Airport to travellers.

The EU head of the delegation, Attilio Pacifici, said the European ambassadors were pleased with the government process of working towards safely opening the airport amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said was good for both Ugandans intending to travel abroad and Europeans who want to come to Uganda.

Pacifici said reopening international gates to tourism was the right thing to do.

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