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Passengers Miss Flights Over Invalid COVID-19 Test Certificates

For instance, on October 2nd, 2020, health workers blocked 45 passengers from boarding a flight to the United Arab Emirates. The travelers presented expired COVID19 test certificates that were issued before September 28th, 2020.
A man, in black clothes missed hi flight because he had a fake COVID-19 certificate

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More than 50 passengers have so far missed their flights for showing up at Entebbe International Airport with invalid COVID19 negative test certificates. All travellers going through the airport are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued within 120 hours before their departure time while incoming passengers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued within 72 hours before their flight.

The new guidelines came into effect October 1st, 2020 when the government reopened Entebbe International Airport for commercial flights after the six month lockdown. On average 14 flights take place at the airport each day with at least 50 passengers on board. However, information obtained from the airport shows that more than 50 departing passengers have missed their flights because of failure to present valid PCR COVID-19 test certificates.

For instance, on October 2nd, 2020, health workers blocked 45 passengers from boarding a flight to the United Arab Emirates. The travelers presented expired COVID19 test certificates that were issued before September 28th, 2020. Apparently, UAE only allows travellers with a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued within 96 hours before departure. The certificates are mandatory for passengers whose final destination is Dubai or are connecting through Dubai from 55 countries including Kenya, Uganda and the USA among others.

On October 7th, four Ugandans including one female adult and three minors also missed their flight to Tunisia for presenting expired certificates.  The certificates were issued on September 16th, 2020 after they secured clearance from the ministries of health and foreign affairs to leave Uganda. Although the female passenger asked for more time to rectify the dates on the certificates, saying they took the tests three days to the flight, by the time she received soft copies of the valid certificates, the plane had already departed from Entebbe Airport.

The same happened to another female Ugandan, who missed her flight on October 8th. 2020. She was expected to board the 11 pm Fly Dubai flight to UAE. She cried when the health workers turned her away. She later told Uganda Radio Network-URN that she took the COVID-19 test on September 29th, 2020 and her certificate was issued on October 1st, 2020. "It is painful that my certificate expired and yet my employer has been waiting for me to travel since July," she lamented.

The travelers had secured a job as a domestic worker in the UAE.  

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She rescheduled her flight at the US $150 about Shillings 555,000. A mother who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity told URN how her son traveling to Canada for studies almost missed his flight because of the delayed release of the test results by Makerere University Hospital. The results were released ten minutes to 3 pm.

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She explains that it would have been detrimental for her son because Canadian universities opened last month and international students will be admitted this week. However, all incoming travelers must undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine in Canada.   Travelers to Rwanda must have a negative COVID-19 test certificate but are also tested on arrival and undergo mandatory quarantine as they wait for the results. Vincent Rugambwa (not real name), a businessman) says that travelers must watch out for updates on the travel restrictions or risk missing flights. He says his results were released a day before his flight.   

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  A Ugandan resident in the USA missed his flight on Brussels Airlines last Sunday. The airline turned him away because of a faulty air ticket. As a result, he had to do fresh tests because his COVID-10 certificate expired on Tuesday yet he wanted to travel on Wednesday.

The same airline cancelled an evacuation flight in July and as such, his wife and relatives in the USA decided to buy him an air ticket for Ethiopia Airlines. He finally departed on October 8th. His biggest worry was being unable to renew his residence certificate in the USA, which is due to expire on October 20th, 2020.

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