President Yoweri Museveni finally made the long-awaited pronouncements especially on reopening of schools and places of worship after a long ban aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 disease. Schools will now resume on October 15th for candidate classes while places of worship will be allowed to operate with a maximum 0f 70 people at a time.
Some of the tough measures had been lifted while the issue of re-opening schools remained a tricky one for the government and parents, while proprietors of private schools and some churches have been crying for “loss of business”.
The president was last night addressing the nation on the covid-19 pandemic that has disrupted major activities across the globe since the start of the year with tough measures put in place in March that affected businesses and social life in the country. Most activities that involve large gatherings have still remained banned while many people who were expecting bars to be allowed to open were left disappointed.
1-Schools will re-open on October 15th for the candidate classes of P-7, S-4, S-6, finalists in tertiary colleges and finalists in universities.
2. The International Airport and land borders will now be opened for tourists, coming in and going out, provided they tested negative 72 hours before arrival in Uganda and provided the tour operators ensure that the tourists do not mix with the Ugandans. Returning Ugandans, who have negative PCR results, will be allowed to go home. The Ministry of Health will only get their addresses for follow up.
3. Restrictions on movements on border districts are lifted especially for those passenger vehicles that have been stuck.
4. For those who were planning to move at night, the time for curfew has not changed from 9pm to 6am and will be maintained till further notice while the boda bodas will have to stop at 6pm.
5. Places of worship can now open with the following guidelines:
a. Individual prayers or confessions with priests or counseling with the necessary SOPs.
b. Prayers and fellowships whose numbers do not exceed 70 and by observing all the other SOPs.
c. Night prayers and transnight or overnight prayers are not allowed.
d. The regular large gatherings of prayers and preachings of Sundays and Fridays will be considered at a later stage, depending on how the disease will be evolving; but the rule of the number of 70 and not more can be used on the Fridays and Sundays.
e. There will be no Sunday School for children.
6. Open-air activities of sports will re-open provided there are no spectators and the players are tested for Covid-19, 72 hours before. This test will expire in 14 days. Hence, the Sportsmen will have to repeat the test. This also applies to:
a. Sportsmen and women should remember that masks should not be worn, when you are engaged in strenuous exercises.
b. With tournaments, teams should be quarantined for the whole season of the competition.
c. Indoor sports activities, including gyms, remain closed.
7. Casinos, gaming centres and cinemas will remain closed.
8. Bars shall remain closed. The presdient said Ugandans can buy theri booze and enjoy from home.
9. Hotels will continue operating following the SOPs agreed with the Ministry of Health.
10. Restaurants should continue to emphasize takeaways. Indoor restaurant services should be minimized and follow the SOPs.
11. Mobile Markets, monthly cattle auction and produce markets, should remain closed as the Ministry of Health continues to develop SOPs.
12. Mass gatherings are still prohibited.
13. The Bamasaaba who engage in Imbalu in these months, have to follow SOPs from the Ministry of Health that were agreed with the Cultural Institution. There should be no processions dancing Kadodi. The Security forces, especially the Police, should monitor those activities because cases of Covid-19 have gone up in Mbale recently. They are now 107 and 5 deaths have occurred in that area.