COVID-19 Information

About coronavirus and COVID-19.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. COVID-19 is now a pandemic affecting many countries globally.

How COVID-19 is spread.

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly sink to the ground. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus.  This is why it is important to stay at least 1 meter away from others. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces around the person such as tables, doorknobs and handrails.  People can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.  This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand rub.

Several dogs and cats (domestic cats and tigers) in contact with infected humans have tested positive for COVID-19. However, there is no evidence that these animals can transmit the disease to humans and spread COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.

Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.

The time between exposure to COVID-19 and the moment when symptoms start is commonly around five to six days but can range from 1 – 14 days.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever
  • Running Nose (flu)
  • Cough
  • General Weakness
  • Difficulty in breathing if the patient develops pneumonia

Prevention of COVID-19.

The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to:

  • Always clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue. If a tissue is used, discard it immediately and wash your hands.
  • Put on face masks.
  • Maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others. 

Traveling to Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Travel to Uganda
• Passengers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test done within 72 hours before arrival in Uganda, and must not display any signs and symptoms of any infectious disease before boarding.
• The COVID-19 PCR test must be taken at a laboratory approved by the country where the passenger’s journey starts.
• There is no mandatory quarantine requirement for passengers who have a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate on arrival and do not show any symptoms of COVID-19.
• A passenger who shows signs and symptoms of infectious disease on arrival will be taken to an isolation centre.
• If passenger tests positive for COVID-19 he/she will be taken to a COVID-19 treatment centre, or repatriated for treatment outside Uganda at their own cost following COVID-19 medical evacuation procedures.
Travel from Uganda
• Passengers travelling from Uganda on Emirates must take a COVID-19 PCR test within 96 hours of boarding at approved testing facilities. Currently, the average fee is USD 65 per test.
Passenger is advised to enter the airport terminal building 4 hours before departure of the flight.
All incoming and outgoing passengers will be subject to temperature screening.
All persons accessing the airport must wear face masks, disinfect and maintain at least 1.5 metres physical distance.


All travellers, whether foreigners or returning residents, entering or leaving the United Republic of Tanzania will be subjected to enhanced screening for COVID-19. There will be no 14-day mandatory quarantine.

All travellers, whether foreigners or returning residents, whose countries or airlines require them to get tested for COVID-19 with a negative test result as a condition for travelling will be required to present a certificate upon arrival. Travellers from other countries with symptoms and signs related to COVID-19 will undergo enhanced screening and may be required to undergo COVID-19 RT-PCR testing.

Passengers must complete a Traveller Surveillance Form before arrival at Dar es Salaam.


All passengers travelling to Dubai, including passengers connecting in Dubai, must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued by a local government approved laboratory. The test must be taken no more than 96 hours before departure to be accepted on the flight. Bring an official printed certificate – SMS and digital certificates are not accepted. Children below 12 years old and passengers with moderate or severe disability are not required to present this certificate.


All passengers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued no more than 96 hours before departure at check-in. All passengers must present a completed Kenya Travelers Health Surveillance form online and present the corresponding QR code to Port Health authorities upon arrival.

A 14-day self-quarantine is mandatory for passengers arriving from certain countries as determined by the Ministry of Health. Passengers arriving from specified countries are currently exempted from self-quarantine measures.

All arriving passengers on international flights whose body temperature is not above 37.5 °C (99.5 °F); do not have a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing or other flu-like symptoms; have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of travel and are from countries considered low to medium risk COVID-19 transmission areas will not be required to undergo self-quarantine.

This list is subject to change as determined by the Ministry of Health risk assessment.

For more resourceful information:

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.

Africa CDC’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

CDC Laboratory testing for COVID-19.

COVID-19 Technical guidance publications.

COVID-19 important quick links.

General Questions and Answers (Q & A).

Uganda Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Information resources.

Timeline: WHO’s COVID-19 response.

WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard.

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