For instance, on October 2nd, 2020, health workers blocked 45 passengers from boarding a flight to the United Arab Emirates. The travelers presented expired COVID19 test certificates that were issued before September 28th, 2020.
More than 50
passengers have so far missed their flights for showing up at Entebbe
International Airport with invalid COVID19 negative test certificates. All travellers
going through the airport are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test
certificate issued within 120 hours before their departure time while incoming
passengers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued within 72
hours before their flight.
guidelines came into effect October 1st, 2020 when the government
reopened Entebbe International Airport for commercial flights after the six month lockdown. On average 14
flights take place at the airport each day with at least 50 passengers on board. However, information obtained from the airport shows that more than 50 departing
passengers have missed their flights because of failure to present valid PCR
COVID-19 test certificates.
For instance, on October 2nd, 2020, health workers
blocked 45 passengers from boarding a flight to the United Arab Emirates. The travelers presented expired COVID19 test certificates that were issued before
September 28th, 2020. Apparently, UAE only allows travellers with a negative
PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued within 96 hours before departure. The
certificates are mandatory for passengers whose final destination is Dubai or
are connecting through Dubai from 55 countries including Kenya, Uganda and the USA
On October 7th, four Ugandans including one female adult and
three minors also missed their flight to Tunisia for presenting expired
certificates. The certificates
were issued on September 16th, 2020 after they secured clearance from the ministries
of health and foreign affairs to leave Uganda. Although the female passenger asked
for more time to rectify the dates on the certificates, saying they took the tests
three days to the flight, by the time she received soft copies of the valid
certificates, the plane had already departed from Entebbe Airport.
The same happened to another female Ugandan, who missed her flight on October
8th. 2020. She was expected to board the 11 pm Fly Dubai flight to UAE. She
cried when the health workers turned her away. She later told Uganda Radio
Network-URN that she took the COVID-19 test on September 29th, 2020 and her
certificate was issued on October 1st, 2020. "It is painful that my
certificate expired and yet my employer has been waiting for me to travel since
July," she lamented.
The travelers had secured a job as a domestic worker
in the UAE.
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She rescheduled her flight at the US $150 about Shillings
555,000. A mother who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity told URN how her
son traveling to Canada for studies almost missed his flight because of the delayed
release of the test results by Makerere University Hospital. The results were released ten minutes to 3 pm.
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She explains that it would have been detrimental for her son because Canadian
universities opened last month and international students will be admitted this
week. However, all incoming travelers must undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine
Travelers to Rwanda must have a negative COVID-19 test
certificate but are also tested on arrival and undergo mandatory quarantine as
they wait for the results. Vincent Rugambwa (not real name), a businessman)
says that travelers must watch out for updates on the travel restrictions or
risk missing flights. He says his results were released a day before his flight.
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A Ugandan resident in the USA missed his flight on Brussels
Airlines last Sunday. The airline turned him away because of a faulty air
ticket. As a result, he had to do fresh tests because his COVID-10 certificate
expired on Tuesday yet he wanted to travel on Wednesday.
The same airline cancelled an evacuation flight in July and
as such, his wife and relatives in the USA decided to buy him an air ticket for
Ethiopia Airlines. He finally departed on October 8th. His biggest worry was being
unable to renew his residence certificate in the USA, which is due to expire on
October 20th, 2020.