By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week issued procedures that Ugandans seeking to return from abroad will have to obey with SOPs put in place, and among these is spending 14 days in quarantine centres designated by the Ministry of Health.
Other guidelines which were released by Patrick Mugoya, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, is that, any citizen of Uganda or legal resident intending to travel back to Uganda must register with the nearest Embassy of Uganda/High Commission to process their repatriation.
The requirements for the registration at the embassy include;
a.) Ugandan Passport number, National ID or Residence/Work permit;
b.) Circumstances under which they got stranded abroad
c.) Contact information of the next of kin in Uganda i.e. Telephone Number & LC 1 location;
d.) Evidence of hospitalization for those who are returning from medical treatment abroad.
They will also have to sign documents indicating that they are willing to undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 done at their current areas of residence and again on arrival in Uganda.
The returnees will also sign and deposit with the responsible Embassy/High Commission , a commitment to undergo a minimum of 14 days quarantine in the facility which they will have chosen from the list provided and to fully comply with the National Guidelines for Quarantine in the Context of COVID-19 that are issued by the Ministry of Health of Uganda.
Some of the designated quarantine centres is SpekeResort Munyonyo, located in Munyonyo, a Kampala suburb, Kabira County Club, located on plot 63 Old Kira Road, Kampala with capacity to accommodate 80 people, Speke Apartments, located in Kitante, off Yusuf Lule Road with capacity of hosting 80 people, among others.
However, returnees who opt to be quarantined in a private hotel will meet the costs of their accommodation, meals and other services.
In other guidelines, the returnees will be responsible for making their own reservations with the airlines. The Embassy may only assist with overall coordination of the exercise.
While in transit, the returnee will be required to adhere to the host country Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for safe travel and the SOPs provided by the airline while on the plane. This may include wearing of a face mask and sanitizing as may be required.