By Betty Amamukirori
It is no longer mandatory for fully vaccinated Ugandans to wear face masks while outdoors, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health, has said.
It means outdoor concerts, including picnics, have been given another shot at life. Now the party can start properly.
While addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre, Aceng, however, noted that a mask will still be required in crowded spaces.
“Wearing of face masks when one is indoors or in closed spaces like in public transport, shops, schools and offices, where two-metre distancing cannot be observed with other individuals, is required whether one is vaccinated or not,” she said.
Aceng also said the vulnerable and high-risk populations are still required to wear face masks at all times whether vaccinated or not.
The World Health Organisation recommends that countries can consider adjusting the face mask mandate at all times when the COVID-19 vaccination coverage is at 70% of the general population.
Aceng noted that Uganda is yet to reach the 70% mark in its COVID-19 vaccination drive. Therefore, the face masks are still necessary in congested spaces.
“While progress has been made in vaccinating the population, only 48% of the target population aged 18 years and above are fully vaccinated,” she said.
Aceng also made adjustments to the 72-hour negative PCR test mandate for all travellers.
She, with immediate effect, suspended the PCR test mandate for all travellers who are fully vaccinated.
They will only be required to present proof of full vaccination at the airport.
However, for those who are not or are partially vaccinated, they will still be required to show the PCR negative test certificate.