A number of tourists have reportedly canceled their trips to Uganda due to the delays at Entebbe International Airport. The move has affected tour operators who had already invested money to host tourists.
According to the Ministry of Health, arriving passengers are subjected to Covid-19 tests before leaving the airport. The operators said this continues to frustrate the trust in certificates issued by authorized laboratories in the region.
Last week, President Museveni launched the Entebbe International Airport Covid-19 laboratories. The facility was set up to screen arriving passengers. This doesn’t matter whether passengers are fully vaccinated or have valid negative PCR tests from green countries.
Isa Kato, a businessman, and stakeholder in the tourism sector said several tourists have canceled their trips to Uganda citing frustration at Entebbe International Airport.
Previously, Uganda only authorised compulsory testing for people arriving from 10 ‘high risk’ countries, including India however the Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, said that the Covid-19 tests would continue but results dispatched in under two hours via email or instant messaging apps.
“Tours operators have started counting losses. Travelers who are fully vaccinated and are holding a negative PCR test result should not be tested again,” Kato said.
Mr. Isa Kato also suggested that the government should put focus on the countries still on the red list.
“This is not good for their business and also the country at large. Meanwhile, Covid cases have completely gone down in the country that hospitals have not more than 8 complicated cases. The question is why so much strictness and yet other countries have fully opened,” Mr. Kato exclaimed.
He suggested that the Ugandan government needs to benchmark what other countries are doing to avoid frustrating travelers.