Operators in the Tourism industry want the government to remove mandatory COVID-19 testing for travelers who are fully vaccinated and have for the past 72 hours tested negative for COVID-19.
The call has been made by the Amos Wekesa of Uganda Lodges Limited while appearing before a parliamentary committee on trade tourism together with the Uganda tour operators association and Uganda Civil aviation Authority to give their views on the cause of delays at the airport caused by COVID-19 mandatory testing policy.
Wekesa has informed the committee the practice of mandatory testing for travelers who are fully vaccinated is affecting the tourism industry especially at the time when countries like Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa who have similar tourist attractions like Uganda are opening up their airports for tourists.
Wekesa says that mandatory testing should be for only unvaccinated people and those who are vaccinated but have not had their COVID-19 results in the past 72 hours to ease the movement of travelers like it’s done in countries like Kenya.
The chairperson of the Uganda Tour operators Ruth Tumusiime in her submission welcomed Wekesa’s call but rejected the allegations on social media that tourists in the country are suffering to access the country.
She says that tourists who have moved with tourist companies are given VIIP treatment, saying that others are inconvenienced because the ministry of health cannot easily account for their whereabouts if their results turn positive.
The director of airports at Uganda Civil aviation Authority Soma Ayuuba says that delays in testing are due to the limited time frame they were given to prepare for mandatory testing since before it was done by private companies and it was for only those travelers from high-risk countries.
Ayuub also says that the unstable internet is affecting the relay of covid19 results which causes delays for travelers.