COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Last updated: [7/2/2021] 

*** Consular Operations:  As of June 14, U.S. Embassy Kampala temporarily suspended all visa services and non-emergency U.S. citizen services. U.S. citizens in Uganda who require emergency assistance should contact the Embassy using the contact information posted on the Embassy’s U.S. Citizen Services webpage. 

***  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 June 11, all arrivals from Category 1 (India) and Category 2 countries (USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, and Tanzania) to Uganda will be subjected to PCR COVID-19 testing on arrival, regardless of vaccination status.  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 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.   
    • As of May 1, the Government of Uganda recommends that all travelers from the United States (and all other Category 2 countries) postpone any non-essential travel to Uganda. 
    • The Ministry of Health now requires that COVID-19 tests be taken at an approved facility within 72 hours of departure for both inbound and outbound travel to Uganda remains in place for all travelers, regardless of vaccination status
    • New restrictions announced by the Government of Uganda on June 18 include:
      • All public and private transport is suspended for 42 days, starting June 18, 2021, except for cargo vehicles, registered tourist vehicles, emergency vehicles, and essential workers’ vehicles.
      • The following are closed for 42 days: Schools, places of worship, sports events, bars, discos, sports betting, and cinemas.
      • Public gatherings, except for the cabinet and legislature, are banned for 42 days.
      • Social gatherings (including burials and weddings) must be restricted to core family only and have no more than 20 persons in attendance provided masks are worn and social distancing of two meters is followed.  House parties are banned.A curfew of 7:00 p.m.-5:30 a.m. is in place. Motorcycle taxi (boda-boda) drivers must cease their movements by 5:00 p.m. and prior to that time may carry cargo but no passengers, with the exception of medical patients traveling to healthcare facilities. Passengers traveling on flights will be allowed to travel to the airport upon presentation of a valid ticket.
      • Workplaces should ensure that not more than 10 percent of staff work from the office at any one time.
      • Weekly non-food markets have been suspended for 42 days.
      • Essential sectors that remain fully functional: agriculture, industry, manufacturing, cargo transportation, tourism, health and medical services, security, and utilities such as water, electricity, retail, media, and banking.
      • The Kampala Capital City Authority has established a 24-hour Metro Emergency Medical Service Call Center: 0800-990-000; 0792-310-927.
      • 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.
      • For the most recent statistics on the surge in COVID-19 cases in Uganda, please visit the Government of Uganda, Ministry of Health’s webpage.

Travel Advisory at Level 4: Do Not Travel

The Department of State maintains a Level 4 Travel Advisory for Uganda recommending that travelers do not travel to Uganda due to COVID-19.  The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Uganda.  Travelers in Uganda should exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a Level 4 Travel Notice for Uganda. CDC recommends avoiding all travel to Uganda. If you must travel to Uganda, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel. Because of the current situation in Uganda, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants. Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel, to Uganda.  Medical care resources in Uganda are limited.

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 240,000.
    • 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 Astra-Zeneca vaccine  as well as two donated allotments of Astra-Zeneca vaccine. Additional vaccine through further donations, the second round of Astra-Zeneca, and procurement by Uganda government are expected in mid- to late-July. Vaccine supplies remain limited, however, and high-risk groups (healthcare workers, those >50years, teachers, and those with underlying conditions) continue to be prioritized. 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.
    • U.S. citizen residents of Uganda who have a valid Uganda visa are eligible to receive free vaccine at any posted vaccination center. Interested residents should refer to the MOH website to find locations and check any restrictions that may be in place at the time.  (see MOH website).
  • 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.
    • Per the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, only travelers with approved visas having applied online will be granted entry. Applications can be made at www.visas.immigration.go.ug.
    • 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, 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.  All travelers are subject to a PCR COVID-19 test regardless of vaccination status. The Ministry of Health has stated that these tests should not cost more than USD 65.  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.
    • Travelers from any country trying to enter Uganda must also have a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before boarding aircraft in-bound to Uganda, regardless of vaccine status.
    • 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 traveled 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.
    • All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, must take a certified PCR COVID-19 test no more than 72 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.
    • Additionally, as of June 11, all arrivals from Category 1 (India) and Category 2 countries (USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, and Tanzania) to Uganda will be subjected to PCR COVID-19 testing on arrival, regardless of vaccination status.
  • 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 72 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, 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 all travelers 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. 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 7:00pm to 5:30am. 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? Yes.
    • Interdistrict transport is banned, beginning June 18, 2021 for 42 days.  Travel between Kampala, Wakiso, and Mukono is allowed, but not between other districts.
    • Cargo trucks (with no more than two people) and registered tourist vehicles will be permitted to move between districts.
    • 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 is open for regular commercial traffic.
  • Is public transportation operating? No. .
    • All public and private transport is suspended for 42 days, starting June 18, 2021, except for cargo vehicles, registered tourist vehicles, emergency vehicles, and essential workers’ vehicles.

 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

  • The consular section at U.S. Embassy Kampala has been forced to suspend all routine appointments as of June 14.  U.S. Citizens in need of emergency assistance should contact us at KampalaUSCitizen@state.gov.

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