Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Kampala (May 22, 2020)  

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Kampala (May 22, 2020)

Location: Uganda

Event: There are 160 confirmed cases of COVID-19 currently being reported in Uganda according to the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health recently revised this figure, which had stood at 264, and no longer includes foreign truck drivers who tested positive at Uganda’s border crossing points.

Flight Thursday, May 28:
The U.S. Embassy is working with Satguru Travel to arrange a flight out of Entebbe International Airport on Thursday, May 28. The government of Uganda is considering the U.S. Embassy’s request to allow this flight to happen while the airport remains closed.

Ethiopian Airlines will operate the flight, which will take passengers to Addis Ababa in time to connect with onward Ethiopian Airlines flights to the United States. Interested travelers can work with Satguru Travel to arrange a final destination in the United States. If you are interested in departing Uganda, consider booking this flight now. To book, contact Sameer at (+256-750-550-060)or Susanta at (+256-753-119-944).

This is not a U.S. government-controlled flight, nor is it a charter flight. Pricing, availability, and cancellations will be controlled by the travel agency and airline.

Travel to the Airport:
If you successfully reserve the flight, please contact your Resident District Commissioner to request permission to transport yourself to the airport should the restriction on use of private vehicles still be in place on the date of travel. We understand the ban on private vehicle use should be lifted effective May 26 but please pay attention to media reports for late-breaking and changing requirements implemented by the Government of Uganda.

Please also note that free repatriation flights for U.S. citizens do not exist. According to U.S. law, departure assistance to U.S. citizens must be provided on a reimbursable basis. The U.S. Embassy has no plans to charter an evacuation flight out of Uganda but if we were to do so, the U.S. Embassy would require passengers to sign a promissory note for the loan and reimburse the U.S. government for the cost of the flight. With no plans for such a flight, we will continue to inform U.S. citizens if we are made aware of any specially arranged outgoing commercial flights or flights chartered by embassies of other nations with seat availability.

Interested parties should verify that their passports and other documentation are current and valid for at least six months from today’s date. For emergency American Citizen Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website.

COVID-19 Restrictions:
On May 18 and 19, President Museveni announced plans to ease some lockdown measures over the next few weeks. According to reports of those decisions, beginning May 26, private vehicles will be allowed to operate with no more than three passengers in the car, including the driver. On the same day, hotels and restaurants that can safely have patrons practice social distancing can also reopen provided they do not have air conditioning in operation. On June 4, public transportation may resume at half-capacity of the vehicle’s normal passenger load. Airports and borders remain closed to passenger traffic. The curfew (1900-0630), remains in effect for another 21 days. Bars, nightclubs, salons, gyms, and saunas will remain closed for 21 more days. President Museveni also introduced the mandatory use of face masks in public. For more information, please see the Ministry of Health website.

Waiver of Illegal Stay for Foreign Residents and Visitors in Uganda:
Ugandan media quoted the Ministry of Internal Affairs as stating that visas enabling continued legal presence in Uganda have been extended until some aspects of the lockdown is lifted, until at least June 2 if not beyond. We recommend that you monitor the policies and public messaging of Ugandan authorities for updates. If and when the U.S. Embassy has further information, it will be communicated to U.S. citizens through these messages.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs under the Doctorate of Citizenship and Immigration is the issuing authority for Uganda visas and is the entity that may be able to provide guidance.

You may wish to reach out directly:

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice.

Actions to Take: