Uganda Airlines will resume international flights from October 1, starting with services to four destinations – Nairobi (Kenya), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Juba (South Sudan) and Mogadishu (Somalia).
This follows President Yoweri Museveni's announcement on Sunday (September 20) that international airport and land borders would open for tourists this week.
During his address to the nation, the President noted that there would be no quarantine for travellers, provided they tested negative 72 hours before arrival in Uganda.
He added that tour operators needed to ensure that the tourists did not mix with the Ugandans. “Tourists will therefore be driven straight from Entebbe International Airport to their destinations or to designated transit hotels that are set aside for that purpose.”
Museveni said business delegations should be handled in the same way.
Ugandan tour operator, Vincent Mugaba of Kwezi Outdoors, told Tourism Update that while the opening of the borders was great news, it did not offer much respite in the short term.
“All our tours have been postponed to next year, others cancelled. However, the reopening takes away the uncertainty and allows us to work on new business or bring up what was cancelled, knowing things are going to be better.”
Mugaba said he hoped that with Uganda’s low COVID19 numbers – only 6 468 cases in total, according to the World Health Organization COVID-19 map application – the reopening of the borders would build confidence in international travellers, especially for the outdoor and adventure tourists.
National parks have been open for over a month and tourists can safely access them. “Thankfully, Uganda is not a mass tourism destination, so social distancing is much easier in the parks,” said Mugaba.