Monday, June 24, 2024
Home > News > International News > Uganda Ends COVID-19 Testing For Incoming Travelers At Entebbe Airport
International News

Uganda Ends COVID-19 Testing For Incoming Travelers At Entebbe Airport

The Minister of Works and Transport, Katumba Wamala has revealed that after almost two years requiring all incoming travelers to be tested for Covid-19, the policy will be ended after the decision was adopted by East African Nations.

Katumba made the revelation while appearing before Parliament’s Committee of Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that is probing the contract of the expansion works of Entebbe International Airport.

 “Government has decided that there will be no more testing at the airport, it will be selective. If the traveler doesn’t have 72 hour results and has symptoms, then they will be picked to be tested but testing every passenger that is coming in, it isn’t going to happen,” Katumba said.

The Minister however said that for passengers going out, their destination countries would require different protocols for them to test, then they would require to fulfill that condition before boarding at the Entebbe International Airport.

The Minister’s remarks were in response to a question posed by Joel Ssenyonyi (Nakawa West) who tasked the Minister to explain why medical workers who carrying out covid tests on passengers have gone for a while without being paid.

“I am told that some of them haven’t been paid in three months, but that is problematic and dangerous even for our airport because they are managing people that are coming in, we need to have this issue resolved. For starters they complain that they earn little but even this little isn’t paid in time, three months in arrears, that is wrong,” remarked Ssenyonyi.

During the interface, Minister Katumba defended the decision to expand the airport saying Uganda is in a very competitive world in terms of trade and travel both internationally and nationally, but the facilities at the airport weren’t supporting this growth.

He said: “Right now, most of our fresh foods is exported through Nairobi. Our product are taken across the border repackaged and rebranded made in Kenya because our facility wasn’t meeting international standards. The size of the airport wasn’t also sufficient enough to be taking on some of the aircraft. And that is one of the reasons it was important that we expand the airport and bring it to international standards.”

Chairperson COSASE, Ssenyonyi faulted officials at Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) for not carrying out due diligence when awarding the USD200m contract for the works at Entebbe airport after discovering that the contractor China Communication and Construction Company (CCCC) only got certificate of registration from Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) in January 2022 yet the contract was signed in 2012.   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *