International travelers who include tourists are not happy that they are being forced to test for COVID-19 before catching a flight at Entebbe International Airport.
According to the Ministry of Health, passengers who test positive, as a health guideline, are prevented from travelling abroad or within Uganda until they recover from Covid-19.
Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) used to enforce this guideline at the peak of Covid-19, especially from 2021 as countries across the world reopened borders.
Another measure by government as it opened its borders was that the passengers are allowed to go home, or hotel of their choice where they would be monitored until they recover from Covid-19.
However, new guidelines from the Ministry of Health now require arriving passengers to possess a COVID vaccination certificate from their country of origin, and that is enough. So why are officials charging foreign visitors?
Covid-19 testing should be required of those flying out of Uganda. So to charge Shs 100,000 on incoming passengers who possess Covid-19 certificates is just cheating. There culprits we are told are using some laboratories in Kampala and Entebbe, run by their friends to do this irregular business.
As officials at Entebbe do this, available information shows that foreign countries such as England, US, Qatar and others don’t even analyse results of the Covid-19 tests taken at Entebbe Airport. They simply require passengers to present vaccination certificates.
There is concern that this anomaly at Entebbe hurts the tourism industry at a time the country is grappling with the effects of post-covid-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Tourism is a top priority for the country as it earns it the much-needed foreign exchange.
Others say that the mandatory testing is aimed at sustaining some laboratories which were authorised to test passengers by the Ministry of Health.
Some of the health facilities include, Test and Fly, Kazuri, Volcano Safaris, Uganda Virus Research Institute, Makerere University.
These laboratories are said to be owned by officials in government who have since influenced the testing of passengers leaving the country.