US Gov’t Charters Flight To Evacuate Americans From Uganda As COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket

US Gov’t Charters Flight To Evacuate Americans From Uganda As COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket

By Andrew Irumba

The government of the United States of America (USA) has chartered a special flight to evacuate all American citizens living in Uganda now, but would like to return to their families amidst the surging numbers of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Uganda.

This was revealed in a statement issued by the US
Mission in Uganda, notifying all Americans in Uganda that a special flight
scheduled for June 16th, 2020, has been specifically chartered for
their evacuation.

The Statement from the US Embassy reads in part thus;

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“Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Kampala

Location: Uganda

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Event:  There are 557 confirmed cases of COVID-19 currently being reported in Uganda according to the Ministry of Health.

Flight June 16:

The U.S. Embassy is working with Satguru Travel to
arrange a flight out of Entebbe International Airport on Tuesday, June 16. The
government of Uganda is considering the U.S. Embassy’s request to allow this
flight to happen while the airport remains closed.

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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
reservations.kla@satgurutravel.com (+256-750-550-060)or Susanta at
susanta.kapal@satgurutravel.com (+256-753-119-944).

Please also note that there are no free repatriation
flights for U.S. citizens.  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.

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 June 1, President Museveni announced changes to the
current restrictions.  As of June 4,
public transportation was allowed to resume operating at half-capacity of the
vehicle’s normal passenger load.  Private
vehicles may be operated with three or fewer passengers in the vehicle, as long
as all passengers wear face coverings. 
The ban on boda bodas carrying passengers has been extended until
further notice.  Both private and public
transport is banned in the border districts, schools remain closed, the curfew
(1900h to 0630h) remains in place, public gatherings are still prohibited, and
churches and mosques are still closed. 
Shopping malls will be allowed to open starting June 4.  In public, all must wear face coverings.
Entebbe International Airport, as well as all land borders, remain closed to
passenger traffic.

Waiver of Illegal Stay for Foreign Residents and Visitors in Uganda:

The Ministry of Internal Affairs announced an
extension on the waiver of fines accruing from a visa overstay until at least
June 9.  Foreign residents and visitors
with expired immigration statuses can freely access services in the country
without threat of being arrested. 
Monitor the policies and public messaging of Ugandan authorities for updates.

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.”

Communication from US Embassy in Uganda about the Chartered Flight

It should however be noted that this will be a special
flight for only American citizens and or their family members, because Entebbe International
Airport is still under the COVID-19 lockdown that was announced by President
Museveni in March this year, as a way of preventing foreigners or Ugandans with
COVID-19 from entering Uganda.

In March this year, President Museveni suspended all
passenger flights at Entebbe International Airport and closed all Uganda’s
borders as one of the measures of preventing the ‘importation’ of  COVID-19 into the country.

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