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300 Ugandans to fly home in first repatriation flight from UAE

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on July 3, 2020 | Last updated on July 3, 2020 at 06.56 am


Passengers have been requested to arrive at the airport at least four hours before departure.

The first batch of Ugandans stranded in the UAE due to the Covid-19 pandemic will fly back home on July 3, the Ugandan envoy has said.

"The flight - Emirates (EK 729) carrying 300 Ugandans - will depart from Dubai International Airport at 12.35pm and will arrive at Entebbe-Uganda at 17.05pm," said Ugandan ambassador to the UAE, Zaake Wanume Kibedi.

Most passengers paid for the air tickets while some had the fares taken care of by companies that have been employing them.

"More than 1,500 Ugandans stranded in the UAE have registered with the Ugandan embassy in Abu Dhabi since April and the diplomatic mission is still in the process of putting together lists and arranging more flights so they can all return home," added the ambassador. 

Those being repatriated include businessmen who have been stuck here since March, pregnant women, those with illnesses and Ugandan expats who have lost jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis. 

"We have carefully worked on the list of stranded Ugandan citizens to repatriated on the first flight and priority was given to pregnant women, those with health problems and those who registered first with the embassy," said Kibedi.

All citizens returning to Uganda must have a Covid-19 negative certificate and will have to undergo a 14-day mandatory institutional quarantine upon reaching Entebbe.

Passengers have been requested to arrive at the airport at least four hours before departure, said Kibedi.

The Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs had in June issued stringent procedures for Ugandans returning from abroad so as to avoid Covid-19 carriers.

According to guidelines, returning stranded nationals must register with the embassy of Uganda/High and must provide a Ugandan passport number, national ID or residence/work permit, circumstances under which they got stranded abroad and contact information of their relatives in Uganda.

The returnee must sign and deposit at the responsible embassy an undertaking to undergo a PCR test for Covid-19 done at his/her current area of residence and again on arrival in Uganda.

The returnee should indicate to the responsible diplomatic mission their choice of quarantine facility in Uganda - either public centres or private hotels. They should sign and deposit with the embassy a commitment to undergo a minimum of 14 days quarantine in the facility which they will have chosen.

The returnees who opt to be quarantined in a private hotel will meet the cost of their own quarantine. The returnees are responsible for making their own reservations with the airlines and the embassy may only assist with overall coordination of the exercise.




Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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