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Uganda Tourism Board issues guildelines on Coronavirus

KAMPALA -The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has issued travel guidelines to tour operators and those travelling to Uganda, especially from six countries most affected by the virus including China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran.

UTB Chief Executive Office Lilly Ajarova, in the new guidelines, warned that travel from the Coronavirus hit countries should be reconsidered at this time due to” Uganda’s efforts to curb the virus that is fast spreading since December 2019.

Ms. Ajarova says that travellers from the affected countries will be required to undergo a 14-day isolation process for daily monitoring by the Health Ministry, a guideline set by the government.

All tour operators, tour agencies and accommodation facilities have been directed to provide handwashing facilities with soap at their premises and onboard travel vehicles and vessels.

To improve preparedness as a sector, ‘tour operators, agencies and accommodation facilities are encouraged to maintain a stock of recommended masks (N95) for their clients” Ms. Ajarova said.

“All tour operators and travel agencies should inform their clients who intend to come to visit Uganda to carry own recommended masks (N95,” and operators should also educate their staff and visitors on preventive measures for the mitigation of contracting coronavirus,” UTB CEO Ajarova said in a travel advisory.

President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday asked Ugandans to stop shaking hands as a precaution to avoid contracting the deadly Coronavirus.

“Now as the Ministry of health guides us, let us take a personal decision not to shake hands unnecessarily or expose ourselves to conditions that will facilitate the spread of Coronavirus,” Mr. Museveni.

Mr Museveni said Coronavirus can be a very big inconvenience if it breaks out in Uganda.

“This is an inconvenience to us and jeopardy to our economy, we do not want to head there as a country,” he said, “This means that we must rely heavily on our personal behaviour first, while the Ministry of Health guides us on other measures,”

Mr. Museveni said if Coronavirus breaks out in Uganda, it will not be the “biggest we have gone through as a country, we fought Aids by behaviour change even before we got medicine”.

He said that whoever has specific symptoms similar to Coronavirus, even as simple as a running nose, should do “self-quarantine from the rest and seek medical guidance and confirmation that you are free from infection”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier Wednesday that a sudden increase in cases of the new coronavirus in Italy, Iran, and South Korea are “deeply concerning.”

The WHO head said a lot had changed in the past week illustrating the “rapidly evolving nature” of the epidemic.

WHO declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

5th March 2020

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