Uganda was red-listed on June 30, at a time the country was battling with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the country was implementing a 42-day lockdown, as one of the measures taken by the government to keep Coronavirus at bay.
The United Kingdom has removed Uganda from the list of countries that posed a threat of spreading COVID-19 through travel. This means that Ugandans and people travelling from Uganda will no longer need to spend 11 nights in hotel quarantine upon arriving in the United Kingdom.
Uganda was red-listed on June 30, at a time the
country was battling with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. At
the time, the country was implementing a 42-day lockdown, as one of the
measures taken by the government to keep Coronavirus at bay.
Other countries on the same list included Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, and Tunisia, among others. But, the list will now have only seven countries after the removal of 47 which have recorded a reduction in COVID-19 infections and improved vaccination. The seven are Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
"The continued progress on vaccination both at home and around the
world means the government can confidently reduce the size of the red list
to focus on countries which pose the highest risk, informed by UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) assessment," the government said in a statement posted by the UK's Foreign,
Commonwealth and Development Office-FCDO.
The British government says that the move, which comes into effect at 4 am
on Monday, is a “major step forward,” for the UK travel industry and travellers, which will make it easier for more people to travel abroad to a larger number of
countries and territories.
"We’re now making it easier and cheaper for people
to travel by allowing fully vaccinated travellers from non-red list
countries to use lateral flow tests on day 2 of arrival, as long as they
provide proof of use," Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said in a statement.
The communication shows that all eligible fully vaccinated passengers returning from countries and
territories, that are not on the red list, can do so with just a day two test. Other passengers who are not fully vaccinated with an authorised vaccine returning from a non-red destination must still take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight test, and complete 10-days of self-isolation.
The UK also announced that it would recognise vaccines for arrivals from a further 37
countries and territories including, Kenya, Brazil, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, India,
Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey. This means that eligible travellers
vaccinated in the new countries and territories will also be
treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they have not visited a red list country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England.
Atwine, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health welcomes the
move, saying Uganda has since contained the spread of COVID-19. At the
peak of the second wave, Uganda recorded over 1,000 cases daily
in June. The new cases however reduced to under 100 cases daily since
She noted that the United Arab
Emirates also removed Uganda from the red list last month. "It means the
two countries have seen that the government has put in place measured
to control the pandemic.
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George Wangaya, the Manager of Awel Tours and Travel Ltd, says that during the travel
ban to the UK, his company did not get any inquiries or bookings.
"Clients who usually travel to the UK refused to travel because the
quarantine costs are very expensive. So I'm excited that Uganda is no
longer on the red list.
When UK and the UAE red-listed Uganda, Uganda Airlines had to postpone the launch of its international flights to London and Dubai respectively from mid-year to the end of the year. The airline commenced Dubai flights on October 4 and expects to start London flights next month.