Departing passengers will now be expected to arrive at the airport at least four hours before boarding to go through the Health Port screening procedures. They will also be required to present a valid health certificate from the Ministry of Health or undergo a rapid test at the airport before departure.
Uganda Civil Aviation Authority has tightened measures
at Entebbe International Airport to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Departing passengers will now be expected to arrive at the airport at least four hours before boarding to go through the Health Port screening procedures. They will also be required to present a
valid health certificate from the Ministry of Health or undergo a rapid test at
the airport before departure.
All arriving and departing passengers will also be expected to wear face masks and exercise social distancing when airlines resume business, according to Eng. Ayub Sooma, UCAA's Director Airports and Aviation
Sooma says that the changes are in line with new guidelines issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation-ICAO,
Airports Council International and the World Health Organization-WHO, as countries prepare to open airports, some of which have been closed to passenger traffic for more than two months.
Sooma says that they are working with officials from Ministry of
health, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs to ensure Entebbe Airport complies
with the set guidelines.
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Sooma further explains that some of the changes at the
airport facilities will include providing more space for boarding lounges,
installation of automatic sensor non-touchable doors and
non-touchable taps, e- boarding pass readers and automated document
readers to limit excessive scanning of passports. Three big tents have already been erected to ensure passengers observe
Dr James Eyul, UCAA's aviation medical specialist, explains
that health and immigration officers will be able to handle 100 passengers
in the two tents for screening and processing of documents while samples will
be collected from a maximum of ten passengers at the same time.
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However, Dr Benson Tumwesigye, who led a delegation from the Ministry
of Health to inspect the airport and assess the progress of the COVID-19 measures,
says UCAA must improve on aeration inside the tents to avoid infection. He says the airport can only resume passenger flights when the
health ministry is satisfied that the precautionary measures are adhered to.
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President Yoweri Museveni suspended passenger flights on March 22nd to combat the spread of COVID-19. He, however,
allowed cargo and emergency flights to continue operations. Before the lockdown, Entebbe airport would handle between 90 to
120 flights daily.