RwandAir, the national flag carrier of Rwanda, has suspended flights to and from Uganda due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
Uganda has registered a spike in COVID-19 cases since mid-April when the second wave began, registering an increase of more than 130 per cent in recent weeks. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the government imposed a partial lockdown for 42-days, including a travel ban between districts outside the Kampala Metropolitan Area, closure of schools and strict enforcement of curfew hours, among other measures.
However, air travel had not been affected. But RwandAir announced that its flights will be suspended until further notice. As a result, the two flights from Entebbe to Kigali that were scheduled for Friday, at 4 pm and after 10 pm have been cancelled and the airline advised the affected passengers to re-book to fly at a later date or ask for refunds.
Last month, RwandAir also suspended flights to and from Mumbai, India due to surging COVID-19 cases. Rwanda has not however announced a ban on flights from and to Uganda by other airlines but requires all arriving passengers to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued 72 hours to the departing flight to Rwanda.
Also the passengers, except those from India, must undertake a PCR COVID-19 test on arrival and quarantine for up to 24 hours until the COVID-19 results are released. Meanwhile, Emirates has also announced that it will suspend flights to Uganda effective today, June 11.
John Gemin, the Country Manager for Emirates in Uganda told newsmen that the decision stems from a directive by the United Arab Emirates government to suspend flights from Uganda, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where COVID-19 rates were escalating.
Gemin however says “Emirates flights from Dubai to Lusaka, continuing on to Harare and flights from Dubai to Entebbe will continue to operate as normal.”