COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information
Last updated: [5/6/2021]  

***  Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions. 

 Country-Specific Information:

  • As of May 1, the Government of Uganda recommends that all travelers from the United States (and all Category 2 countries, which also include the United Kingdom, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, and Tanzania) postpone any non-essential travel to Uganda.
  • Any traveler from the Category 2 countries, including the United States, will be subjected to a PCR COVID-19 test, at the traveler’s expense, at all points of entry into Uganda, including Entebbe International Airport.  These travelers will have to wait for their negative results before proceeding to their final destination in Uganda.
  • Individuals who have received a full COVID-19 vaccination and are asymptomatic will be allowed into Uganda without the need for testing on arrival.  Such travelers will need to show evidence of their vaccination.
  • The Ministry of Health’s requirement that COVID-19 tests be taken at an approved facility within 120 hours of departure for both inbound and outbound travel to Uganda remains in place
  • Uganda continues to experience COVID-19 outbreaks.  For the most recent statistics, please visit the Government of Uganda, Ministry of Health’s webpage.
  • Restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Health include allowing gatherings of no more than 200 persons provided masks are worn and social distancing of 2 meters is followed.  Cinemas, gyms, and massage parlors have been permitted to open while casinos and gaming centers are restricted to operating between the hours of 6:30am to 7:00pm.  Bars and dance halls remain closed.
  • The curfew (2100h-0600h) remains in place. Motorcycle taxi (boda boda) drivers must cease their movements by 1800h.
  • Starting March 1, 2021, the Ugandan government started a phased reintroduction of in-person classes for all school grades.

COVID-19 Testing: 

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Uganda? Yes. 
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes.  
    • A number of health facilities in Kampala offer COVID-19 testing. For a full list of accredited laboratories and approved sample collection points, please visit the Ministry of Health’s website.  Travelers are expected to cover all costs associated with their COVID-19 test.  Average cost for testing is UGX 350,000. 
    • Delivery of test results may be via email, text message (i.e. a PDF sent via WhatsApp) or physical copy.  Make sure to confirm a delivery method that suits your needs before selecting a company/lab to conduct the test.  It is recommended to bring a printed copy of your test results with you to the airport; an electronic copy may not be accepted. 
    • A COVID RDT Antigen test can be done next to the airport in Entebbe at the Kazuri Medical clinic (+256 0702 199 000 / +256 0787 199 788, Plot 168 Kampala Road, Katabi, Entebbe)The antigen test takes 15 minutes and costs 50 USDcertified results are provided onsite. 
    • For information on limited humanitarian exemption to the COVID test requirement upon entry to the United States, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html. Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when the country of departure lacks adequate COVID-19 testing capacity. To submit information in support of an exemption, email KampalaUSCitizen@state.gov.

 COVID-19 Vaccine Information: 

  • Has the government of Uganda approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  Yes.  
    • Uganda is part of the global COVAX initiative and has received a first round of AstraZeneca vaccine for priority groups in country. Additional vaccine is expected, both through COVAX and procurement by the Ugandan government. Private health entities have plans to purchase vaccines that will be offered to paying clients as part of the overall national vaccine plans. Precise dates or locations where vaccines for purchase would be available have not yet been publicized. 
  • Are vaccines available in Uganda for U.S. citizens to receive?  Yes. 
    • US citizen residents of Uganda who have a valid Uganda visa are eligible to receive free vaccine at any posted vaccination center (see MOH website) if they otherwise meet the eligibility requirements (as of April 2021, this includes anyone 50 years of age or older, those with underlying co-morbidities, or those who otherwise qualify as a healthcare worker or teacher).
  • Which vaccines are available in Uganda?  Only AstraZeneca is currently available in Uganda.
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.   
  • The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination. 

 Entry and Exit Requirements: 

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes. 
    • As of May 1, the Government of Uganda recommends that non-Ugandans and non-resident foreigners from the Category 2 countries (USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, and Tanzania) who are not vaccinated do not travel to Uganda at this time.
    • Any traveler from the Category 2 countries, including the United States (as well as United Kingdom, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, and Tanzania), will be subjected to a PCR COVID-19 test, at the traveler’s expense, at all points of entry into Uganda, including Entebbe International Airport. The Ministry of Health has stated that these tests should not cost more than USD 65.  These travelers will be transported to a holding area 5-10 km from the airport to be tested and to wait there for their test results.  Travelers have an option to wait at that location or to check into a designated hotel at their own cost until they receive their test results.  Any traveler who tests positive for COVID-19 will be evacuated by the Ministry of Health to a designated COVID-19 isolation facility, at the traveler’s expense.
    • All travelers from Category 1 and Category 2 countries will be tested, including children. Any child who tests positive for COVID-19 will also be evacuated to a designated COVID-19 isolation facility with their parent or guardian.
    • Individuals who have received a full COVID-19 vaccination and are asymptomatic will be allowed into Uganda without the need for testing on arrival.  Such travelers will need to show evidence of their vaccination.
    • The Government of Uganda strongly recommends that non-Ugandans and non-resident foreigners from the Category 2 countries who are not vaccinated do not travel to Uganda at this time.
    • Travelers from any country trying to enter Uganda must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 120 hours before boarding aircraft in-bound to Uganda. The Ministry of Health instituted this requirement in November 2020 and it remains in place.
    • Note that all travelers (regardless of nationality) originating from, or transiting through, India (the current only Category 1 country) are currently banned from entering Uganda, regardless of the route of travel.  Any traveler who was present in, or travelled through, India in the 14 days preceding their arrival in Uganda will not be allowed entry.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes. 
    • Travelers must take a certified PCR COVID-19 test no more than 120 hours before departure for Uganda and obtain a negative result. Tests must have been done by a health facility that is accredited by the government of the country in which the test is conducted. Travelers will be required to present their test results to the airline to receive confirmation of their flight booking. 
    • Uganda has an Emergency Operations Center at the Ministry of Health that is managing the COVID-19 response and can be reached through their hotline: (+256) 0800 203 033, 0800-100-066, or 0800-303-033. 
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for exit? Yes. 
    • The Government of Uganda requires that all departing passengers present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken not more than 120 hours before departure. This requirement is mandatory for all departing passengers out of Uganda even if the destination country does not require it.  COVID-19 tests for departing passengers must be taken at an accredited laboratory or a COVID-19 sample collection point approved by the Ministry of Health.  A full list of approved testing facilities can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website.  Travelers are expected to cover all costs associated with their COVID-19 test and test results must indicate that they are for the express purpose of travel with the annotation “TRAVEL” clearly marked.
    • Out-bound travelers should review and comply with the testing requirements for transit and destination countries. For example: 
    • The United States requires a test be done within three calendar days of departure for those in-bound to the United States. 
    • Certain international passengers traveling to, or transiting through, the Netherlands must provide a negative PCR test certificate no older than 72 hours and a negative rapid antigen test within 4 hours prior to boarding. 
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes. 
    • In-bound travelers will be subject to temperature and health screening upon arrival. 
    • Any arriving passengers who exhibit signs or symptoms of an infectious disease will be transported to an isolation center for a COVID-19 test where they must remain, at their own cost, until the results of the test are received. Travelers who test positive will be taken to a Ministry of Health facility for treatment or given the option to be repatriated (for foreigners), at their own cost. 
    • A PCR COVID-19 test will be required upon arrival for any traveler arriving from a Category 2 country (USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, and Tanzania).  The traveler must pay for the test and wait for negative results before proceeding to their final destination in Uganda.
  • Information regarding visa extensions for residents and/or tourists: The Ministry of Internal Affairs under the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration is the issuing authority for Uganda visas and is open for visa renewals and other routine immigration matters.  Foreign residents and visitors with visa issues or questions can visit the Ministry of Internal Affairs office Monday through Friday from 0800h to 1400h. 

Movement Restrictions: 

  • Is a curfew in place? Yes. 
    • A nationwide curfew is enforced from 2100h to 0600h. Note that arriving and departing airline passengers will be exempt curfew restrictions when their flights take place during curfew hours.  However, drivers should have with them documentary evidence of their connection to passengers arriving at or departing from the airport in order to facilitate passage through police checkpoints enforcing the nationwide curfew. 
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No. 
    • Public transport is generally allowed at half-capacity and all passengers are required to wear masks. 
    • When in public, wearing of masks is required and individuals are expected to maintain social distancing at all times. 

Quarantine Information: 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No. 
    • Quarantine is not required for arriving foreign nationals who have a negative PCR COVID-19 test result done by an accredited laboratory in the country of origin unless the person exhibits signs or symptoms of an infectious disease, or if the individual receives positive test results when he/she is tested upon arrival, as is required for all travelers from Category 1 and 2 countries (see Entry Requirements above).  Travelers who test positive will be taken to designated facility for treatment, at the traveler’s expense. 

 Transportation Options: 

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes. 
    • Entebbe International Airport opened for regular commercial traffic on October 1, 2020. 
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes. 
    • Public transport operators are expected to provide sanitisation, passengers are required to wear masks, and seating is limited to half regular capacity. 

 Fines for Non-Compliance: 

  • Violators may face varying consequences including verbal warnings from police, being detained for a period of time, or formal arrest for disobeying presidential directives and/or for a negligent act likely to spread disease. 

 Consular Operations: 

  • American Citizen Services: The consular section at U.S. Embassy Kampala is now offering routine appointments for passports and notarial services, as well as appointments for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA).  To schedule a passport or notarial appointment, please visit our website.  To qualify for a CRBA appointment, you must first be documentarily ready for interview.  To submit your documents for review, please email KampalaCRBA@state.gov.  CRBA appointments are being scheduled for those who are already documentarily ready in chronological order of receipt. 
  • Visa Services: The consular section is prioritizing services for U.S. citizens.  Routine visa processing remains suspended, but we are currently offering as many appointments as local conditions, resources, and safety considerations allow in mission-critical visa categories, including a limited number of appointments for petition-based employment visas, student visas, and exchange visitor visas. We encourage all applicants to be mindful of the constraints and to apply early. Appointments will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis as capacity allows.  We will resume regular visa processing as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment in the country where it was purchased until September 30, 2022. Please see these notices which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID19 global pandemic:  Visa Services Operating Status Update (state.gov)

Local Resources: