The Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Katumba Wamala has revealed that after almost two years requiring all incoming travelers to be tested for Covid-19, the policy will be ended after the decision was adopted by East Africa Nations.
Katumba said this while he appeared before parliament’s committee of Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that is probing the contract of the expansion of Entebbe International Airport.
“Government has decided that there will be no more testing at the airport, it will be selective. If the traveler doesn’t have 72 hour results and has symptoms, then they will be picked to be tested but testing every passenger that is coming in is not going to happen,” Katumba said.
The minister however urged that passengers going out of the country, their destination countries may require to fulfill that condition before boarding at the Entebbe International Airport.
Katamba’s remarks were in response to the question posed by Joel Ssenyonyi Nakawa West legislator who doubles as the National Unity Platform spokesperson who tasked the minister to explain why medical workers carrying out the Covid-19 tests on passengers have taken long without being paid.
“I am told that some of the workers haven’t been paid in three months, but that is problematic and dangerous even for the airport because they are managing people that are coming in, we need to have this issue resolved. For starters they complain that they are paid little but even the little isn’t paid in time, three months in arrears that is wrong,” Ssenyonyi said.
Katumba went further to defend the decision to expand the airport saying Uganda is in a very competitive world in terms of trade and travel because both internationally and locally, but the facilities at the airport weren’t supporting this growth.
“Right now most of our fresh foods are exported through Nairobi. Our products are taken across the border, repackaged and rebranded made in kunya because our facility was not meeting international standards. The size of our airport wasn’t also sufficient enough to be taking on some of the aircraft,” Katumba revealed.