Uganda suspends Mandatory PCR tests for travellers, Masks for fully vaccinated people
The government through the Ministry of Health has suspended with immediate effect the requirement for a negative PCR test done within 72 hours for all outbound travellers who are fully vaccinated.
However, this is with exception of where it is a requirement of the destination country or the carrier airline.
The Ministry has also suspended with immediate effect, the requirement for negative PCR tests done within 72 hours of pre-boarding for all incoming travellers who are fully vaccinated.
The development was announced by Dr Jane Ruth Aceng the Health Minister while giving an update on the COVID19 pandemic on Wednesday.
She further revealed that all inbound and outbound travellers will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, except for travellers aged 5 years and below.
“Travelers with partial or no vaccination will be required to present a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of travel. Travellers below 5 years are not required to present a negative PCR test upon arrival or departure,” Aceng said.
Meanwhile, fully vaccinated individuals will NOT be required to wear face masks when they are outdoors provided there are NO crowds.
However, wearing face masks when one is indoors or in closed spaces like public transport, shops, schools and offices among other places where 2 meters distance can’t be observed with other individuals, is required whether one is vaccinated or not.
The Minister further warned that the vulnerable or high-risk population i.e the elderly aged 50 years and above and people living with co-morbidities irrespective of age are advised to wear a mask at all times whether they are vaccinated or not.
She also revealed that the ministry will embark on vaccination of secondary school children to protect them from severe COVID-19 on 9 May 2022.
“The Pfizer vaccine will be deployed to vaccinate this age group. Pfizer is a two-dose vaccine, administered 4 weeks apart,” said the minister.
To date, 15,268,403 people have received the 1st dose of any COVID-19 vaccine accounting for 71% of the target population of 22 million people. While 10,250,742 people are fully vaccinated accounting for 48% of the target population.
59,542 people have received their booster dose. A breakdown of the vaccination coverage for the first dose among priority vulnerable populations shows good progress with (health workers – 127.7%; teachers – 90.2%; and the elderly – 80.3%).
To date, the country has registered 164,118 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,596 deaths. Currently, there are two severely ill COVID-19 patients on admission at Mulago National Referral Hospital, and St. Mary’s Hospital, Lacor. It is important to note that both these patients are not vaccinated.