Covide 19 Information
Uganda continues to experience COVID-19 outbreaks. On 2nd Dec 2020, the Ministry of Health issued further updates relaxing restrictions, including allowing gatherings of no more than 200 persons provided masks are worn and social distancing of 2 meters is followed. Cinemas, gyms, and massage parlors have been permitted to open while casinos and gaming centers are restricted to operating between the hours of 6:30am to 7:00pm. Bars and dance halls remain closed.
The curfew (2100h-0600h) remains in place. Motorcycle taxi (boda boda) drivers must cease their movements by 1800h.
On 10th Dec 2020 the Ministry of Health issued new guidelines regarding COVID-19 testing required for both inbound and outbound travel to Uganda including a requirement that tests be taken at an approved facility within 120 hours of departure.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
Entebbe International Airport opened on October 1. Tourists are permitted to enter the country with a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 120 hours before boarding aircraft in-bound to Uganda. Please note this change from the previous requirement of 72 hours.
Negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry into Uganda. Travelers must take a certified PCR COVID-19 test no more than120 hours before departure for Uganda and obtain a negative result. Tests must have been done by a health facility that is accredited by the government of the country in which the test is conducted.
Travelers will be required to present their test results to the airline to receive confirmation of their flight booking.
Uganda has an Emergency Operations Center at the Ministry of Health that is managing the COVID-19 response and can be reached through their hotline: (+256) 0800 203 033, 0800-100-066, or 0800-303-033.
In-bound travelers will be subject to temperature and health screening upon arrival.
Any arriving passengers who exhibit signs or symptoms of an infectious disease will be transported to an isolation center for a COVID-19 test where they must remain, at their own cost, until the results of the test are received. Travelers who test positive will be taken to a Ministry of Health facility for treatment or given the option to be repatriated (for foreigners), at their own cost.
The Government of Uganda requires that all departing passengers present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken not more than 120 hours before departure. This requirement is mandatory for all departing passengers out of Uganda even if the destination country does not require it. COVID-19 tests for departing passengers must be taken at an accredited laboratory or a COVID-19 sample collection point approved by the Ministry of Health. A full list of approved testing facilities can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website. Travelers are expected to cover all costs associated with their COVID-19 test and test results must indicate that they are for the express purpose of travel with the annotation “TRAVEL” clearly marked.
Information regarding visa extensions for residents and/or tourists: The Ministry of Internal Affairs is open for visa renewals and other routine immigration matters. Foreign residents and visitors with visa issues or questions can visit the Ministry of Internal Affairs office Monday through Friday from 0800h to 1400h.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs under the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration is the issuing authority for Uganda visas and is the entity that may be able to provide guidance
Toll Free Numbers 0800 199 003/4
A nationwide curfew is enforced from 2100h to 0600h. Note that arriving and departing airline passengers will be exempt curfew restrictions when their flights take place during quarantine hours. However, drivers should have with them documentary evidence of their connection to passengers arriving at or departing from the airport in order to facilitate passage through police checkpoints enforcing the nationwide curfew.
Public transport is generally allowed at half-capacity and all passengers are required to wear masks. When in public, wearing of masks is required and individuals are expected to maintain social distancing at all times.
Quarantine is not required for arriving foreign nationals who have a negative PCR COVID-19 test result done by an accredited laboratory in the country of origin, unless the person exhibits signs or symptoms of an infectious disease. Such individuals will be transported to an isolation center for a COVID-19 test where they must remain, at their own cost, until the results of the test are received. Travelers who test positive will be taken to a Ministry of Health facility for treatment, or given the option to be repatriated (for foreigners), at their own cost.
A number of health facilities in Kampala offer COVID-19 testing. For a full list of accredited laboratories and approved sample collection points, please visit the Ministry of Health’s website. Travelers are expected to cover all costs associated with their COVID-19 test. Average cost for testing is UGX 350,000. Approx $95USD.
Entebbe International Airport was opened for regular commercial traffic on October 1.
Public transport operators are expected to provide sanitization, passengers are required to wear masks, and seating is limited to half regular capacity.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
Violators may face varying consequences including verbal warnings from police, being detained for a period of time, or formal arrest for disobeying presidential directives and/or for a negligent act likely to spread disease.
Visit the Government of Uganda website on COVID-19
Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations. Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions. Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Uganda.
Standard Operating Procedures
Action Plan and Standard Operating Procedures
During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Last Updated on Saturday 15th of December 2020
Uganda Wildlife Scene Safaris has introduced this Action Plan with set of measures and standards to put in place in order to prevent, detect and counter Covid-19 cases while operating as a staff and in relation to guests. This is based on implementation of the current guidelines by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health of Uganda.
The measures will enable guests to enjoy their holidays in the knowledge that the highest hygiene standard in relation to COVID-19 have been put in place. With this plan we are laying the foundations for an agile and safe return to business so we can be ready to offer our unique holiday experiences.
Objectives of the Protocols
The purpose of these guidelines is the following:
- To minimize the risk of the spreading of the Covid19 virus and to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff through a coherent and well-coordinated guideline for prevention of the virus and for the management of it.
- To rebuild trust and confidence with travellers through effective communication & marketing, letting them know the protocols implemented and assurances available to keep them safe
The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and their implementation
These protocols include the implementation of check procedures, personal protection procedures, including temperature scans, physical distancing, enhanced frequency of cleaning and the provision of hygiene kits for safe hospitality services and for the staff.
Management Action Plan
The Management has developed this Action Plan to address the risk factors in the prevention of the spread of Covid 19 by providing information to the staff on how to prevent Covid 19, by operating new procedures on hygiene and set up of the working areas, by operating procedures on handling the guests, the use of the tourist vehicles and the interaction with all other service providers.
Management Action Plan
The Management has informed and engages in refreshing all staffs on the measures to be adopted and the measures that could protect their health, that of others and guests. Communication should be maintained between Management and staff in order to pre-define an information policy for guests as well as to rapidly provide and obtain information on incidents that may arise and to know the status of the situation at all times.
Providing guidelines to the staff on how they should communicate the action plan to guests and other stakeholders can ensure alignment consistency.
Short informative posters displaying the key messages are made available, containing information like:
- Practicing social distancing
- Use of face masks
- Promoting of hand washing
- Respiratory hygiene
- Contact information of key staff personnel
- Emergency Telephone numbers
General Health and Safety Protocols
We strictly adhere to all measures and communications by the Ministry of Health, Local Health Authorities and World Health Organization at all times:
a). Social Distancing
Social distancing includes refraining from hugging & shaking hands with guests as well as among fellow staff. It involves maintaining a distance of at least 1m (3 ft.) and avoiding anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
b). Use of personal protection equipment (face masks)
Use of face masks reduces exposure to risk of contracting Covid 19 and should be used always while in public places and in presence of other people.
c). Hand Washing
Hand hygiene means regularly and thoroughly cleaning hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water. Also avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Hand disinfection is indicated after exchanging objects (money, credit cards) with guests.
d). Respiratory Hygiene
Respiratory etiquette means covering mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. The used tissue should be disposed of immediately in a bin with a lid.
All indoor areas should be mopped with a disinfectant (1% sodium hypochlorite or phenolic disinfectants).
For metallic surfaces like door handles, security locks, keys etc. 70% alcohol can be used to wipe down surfaces where the use of bleach is not suitable.
Guidelines for cleaning
The office premises are kept clean and safe following these regulations:
a). Deep extra cleaning practices are introduced in the office areas, by use of alcoholic based disinfectants and by increasing the frequency of cleaning. The focus is on high-frequency touch points, including handrails, door handles, tables and desks, chairs, computer keyboards, telephones, board toilets, kitchen utensils and cutleries.
b). Cleaning is done before work and after work on a daily basis by using alcohol based disinfectant. Floors are cleaned daily. Working stations and chairs are not rotating and are cleaned regularly before and after the use. Towels are regularly changed and washed by high temperature washing machine.
c). Soaps, sanitizers, hand washing soaps are available in the washrooms and at the entrance.
d). Disposing off of not reusable / single use masks is made to a special safe waste bin.
e). Proper ventilation is provided in the office, to avoid closed environment and opening windows.
Guidelines for the staff
We do the following practices on daily basis for staff arriving at work:
a) All employees reporting to work are subject to the collection of general information about their movements and activities to assess potential risks. They are also informed about how to reduce risks of infections, while at work and while outside.
b) Temperature checks: employees are encouraged to take their temperature prior to leaving for work. If their temperature measures over 37 degrees, the employee should notify management and seek medical attention.
c) Staff and visitors are requested to use the washing and sanitizing stations located at the entrance to ensure sanitization.
d) We avail face masks to all the staff and encourage their use in presence of other people and in public areas.
e) We respect the social distancing in the arrangement of staff meetings and staff working stations.
Guidelines in handling the guests
These are the regulations for handling the guests:
- A “Guest Registration Form” is provided collecting information relevant to ease in case of fast tracing, with dates and locations. This form is maintained by our staff / tour guide as the guests have their holiday.
- Guests are informed by the briefing about the health and safety measures applied by the company. We keep informing the guests about the importance of adopting preventing measures like: use of face masks and we make masks available to them (surgical masks or corporate cloths masks); respecting social distance and avoiding queues or places where social distance is not respected; practicing hand washing and sanitizing (in the vehicle we provide the sanitizers); practicing respiratory hygiene.
- We introduce the system of guest health general checks and temperature screening with the contactless thermometer.
- On arrival and during the holiday our staff reserves the right to disinfect regularly the luggage of guests.
- Forms of greeting that involve physical contact with the client should be avoided.
- We work to make sure that guests will have a safe experience by: establishing a contact with partners and suppliers, including shops, museums, restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions, by verifying and controlling that they follow like minded health, sanitation, disinfection and hygiene protocols.
- In particular, while using the services of restaurants during our programs, we take care of the following: that approved disinfecting products are made available at entrance to guests in the form of alcohol-based hand sanitizer as appropriate; that restaurant staff are trained and adhere to like minded health, hygiene, and physical contact guidelines; that self-service at buffets is avoided; that they enhance cleaning, including disinfecting of tables and chairs after a guest has left; that physical contact is minimized through table spacing and guest seating; that provision of digital and contactless menus are used where possible.
- While arranging the tourist activities in the national parks and protected areas, we follow the specific standard operating procedures of the managing agencies and we informed the guests about those dispositions. Particularly, in the experience of the photographic safaris and primates’ experiences, we will make sure that our staff and our guests are informed and respect the regulations in place, in Uganda, in Rwanda or elsewhere in regard to the prevention of the spread of Covid 19.
- We encourage guests to prioritize contactless, electronic or cards payments methods where payments are needed. If cash is handled, hands should be washed or disinfected as soon as possible. This is the case of tips, that are a common practice and that it is done in cash.
- It is discouraged sharing of objects by clients like: cameras, binoculars and personal objects.
- Printed material such as maps, brochures, etc. is limited and possibly replaced with digital material.
Guidelines in handling the tourist vehicles
The tourist vehicles will be handled according to the following dispositions:
- Maximum carrying capacity for the tour vehicle is 5 passengers plus the driver. The spaces between seats is as such as to respect a minimum distancing between guests.
- We ensure that vehicles are properly cleaned and sanitized before, during and after each trip / transfers. This means that regularly cleaning and disinfecting is provided to all the door handles, seats handles and seat covers, surfaces of easy touch.
- We use washable seats covers that are regularly washed and disinfected.
- Vehicles are provided with sanitizers and face masks.
- We encourage open windows when weather permits, to allow air circulation during the transfers.
- We encourage guests to carry their own water bottle but we also provide water bottles for the guests.
Guidelines for the tour guides
The tour guides follow these guidelines:
- The tour guides must have a negative Covid 19 test done within 72 hours before starting an activity in contact with the guests.
- The tour guide uses all the standard operating procedure for health and safety as well as he / she informs the guests that they must obey to the same (wearing the masks, practicing social distance, regularly washing and disinfecting the hands, practicing respiratory hygiene).
- Forms of greeting that involve physical contact with the client should be avoided.
- The tour guides keep the guest registration form and monitor the health conditions of clients, reporting to Management immediately in case of any health case. They also have the contacts for medical and emergency care centers where a client with COVID-19 compatible symptoms can be referred to.
- They identify existing potential risks of Covid 19 by making a Risk Assessment to avoid potential risks. This concerns: the routes that will be followed; the visits to places and tourist attractions; the presence of possible crowding; the group size in various situations; eventual restrictions on the provision of certain tourist services. Having made the Risk Assessment and in line with respecting the agreed contractual itinerary, the tour guides exercise their right to make the best decisions over options of places and activities, that are safer and suitable, for the timing and logistics of the program.
- The tour guides verify that suppliers are using health and safety protocols, like at entry points, in hotels, restaurants and they decide over the safety of the place.
- The tour guides avoid stopping in places, which are not in the itinerary and that cannot be verified earlier for safety and prefer packed lunch boxes for long distances.
Handling cases of Covid 19
a). General Recommendations
If a guest or staff develops symptoms of acute respiratory infection, efforts should immediately be made to minimize contact of the ill person with all guests and staff. The procedures for the situation when a guest develops signs and symptoms indicative of COVID-19 are the following:
- To contact the responsible health professionals in the area of the occurrence.
- To separate the ill person from the other persons by at least 2 m (6 ft) in a designated isolation room.
- To contact the Management for informing and for further follow up with the guest and his agent.
- Request the ill person to wear a mask and practice respiratory hygiene when coughing and sneezing. If the mask cannot be tolerated by the ill person, provide tissues to cover mouth and discard the tissue immediately into a biohazard disposal waste bag.
- The transfer to the nearest available Ministry of Health clinic for testing of Covid 19 has to be arranged and that would be followed by the isolation while waiting the results. If the results are positive, it is required the quarantine and, according to the medical condition, to undergo treatment or conduct the quarantine in an hotel facility agreed with the Health Authority.
- When attending to an ill guest or staff coming from an affected area who displays fever, persistent cough or difficulty breathing, always use additional protective equipment, including mask, eye protection, gloves, and a gown.
b). Case of an affected worker
If a member of the staff reports respiratory symptoms, the staff must immediately stop work and seek medical assistance. The staff in contact with the guests must inform the Management and the replacement of that staff is arranged. The staff should stay isolated in a suitable room while the medical services are being notified.
Staff who reports from home that they are ill with respiratory symptoms should be advised to stay at home and seek medical attention.
Staff who report from home that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow the instructions received from the health authorities, including the recommendation of self- isolation at home until fully healed.