PASSENGER PROTOCOL OF ARRIVING IN UGANDA AND RWANDA
Tourism and Travel are one of the most significant economic sectors in Uganda and Rwanda, reaping over $498 in 2019 for the latter and about $1.60 billion for the former in the same year. For this reason, the sector has been a huge contributor for numerous Global economies, yet managing the large influx of visitors for the safety of tourists and residents is a bit challenging. The concern for these two beautiful East African countries in the pre-Covid 19 environment is that outrageous numbers of visitors might not be sustainable.
Book NowGenerally, travel in Uganda and Rwanda had taken a drop amid the Covid-10 pandemic, with most flights being grounded as well as Airports and borders closed. The Pandemic has undeniably derailed business, livelihoods and communities across the World. Since August 2020, International travel resumed in Rwanda while in October 2020, Uganda opened its skies to International flights. However, several Passenger protocol has to be followed by travellers arriving Uganda and Rwanda
Passenger Protocol of arriving in Uganda;
Based on the most recent guideline by the Ministry of Health, travellers arriving Uganda are required to present Covid-19 PCR test results for 72 hours from the time samples were collected to the time of boarding the flight from country of origin. This guideline only exempts children below 6 years.
Prior to leaving country of origin to Uganda-via Entebbe International Airport, it is advisable for travellers to fill an online Health form and this can be accessed via https://arrivals.healthdesk.go.ug. This will also require paying a non-refundable fee of $30 as Covid-19 test. Payments are made via https://covidpay.postbank.co.ug to avoid delays hence when you arrive, you will straight away take your tests.
Travellers are required to pass through the mandatory Health Procedure of pointing out body temperatures, signs and symptoms before meeting the Lab specialists for the Covid-19 swab for undertaking the tests. Transit visitors don’t fall under this category.
While waiting for the results, visitors are required to head back to the terminal for other immigration procedures, picking luggage from the conveyor belts and customs clearance in case of any taxable items.
The PCR test results are received from the holding area and will be availed after two and a half hours or even less. However given the delays and crowding at the Airport, the system was changed on 5th November 2021 allowing travellers to even go home after testing to self-isolate until the results are ready. The COVID-19 negative travellers are permitted to continue with planned activities while the positives are tracked for management. These are send via SMS, Email or WhatsApp.
Travellers who test positive are first offered psychological support before being transferred to the gazetted private or public treatment centers to be managed for one week, then discharged after testing negative. Treatment within public centers is totally free while travellers that prefer the private facilities will be required to meet whatever cost being charged.
For the departing visitors from Entebbe International Airport, negative PCR test results for 72 hours from time of collecting samples will be required before boarding the plane.
Passenger protocol of arriving in Rwanda
As of 3rd September 2021, the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Health issued a number of measures for passengers arriving the country via Kigali International Airport and they include;
All passengers arriving at Kigali International Airport are required to have negative SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test certificate undertaken at least 72 hours/or 3 days before the day of leaving your home country. Keep in mind that it is not compulsory for accompanied children below the age of 5.
Travellers getting into the country must finalize the mandatory passenger locator form in addition to uploading the test certificate prior to arriving the Airport. Find the form at http://www.rbc.gov.rw/
For passengers using Rwanda for over 12 hours as their transit points, screening is done on arriving the country in addition to a second RT-PCR test. Samples are collected at Kigali International Airport on arriving, then results are received from designated transit Hotels. For positive travellers under this category, they are fast-tracked to allow them receive their results before taking the next flight.
Tests are done on arriving Kigali International Airport at a fee of $60-$50 for the covid-19 test and $10 for logistics to the Airport. All this information is indicated on the passenger Locator form.
Waiting time for the Covid-19 results is 24 hours and during this time, you can stay at any of the designated Transit Hotels and special rates are offered in these places. If found positive, the traveller is treated according to the “National COVID-19 Management Guidelines until full recovery (at own cost). It is for this reason that travellers are always advised to have International Travel insurance.