he cabinet of the Republic of Uganda has reaffirmed her commitment in acknowledging the 14-day validity of the negative PCR results for travelers in the region.
Ms. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, the 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Community Affairs, in the cabinet of Uganda has announced.
“The Uganda Cabinet has reaffirmed the decision of the sectoral committee of health and the Council of Ministers of the East African Community to acknowledge the 14-day validity of the negative PCR results for travelers in the region”. Read a statement on her Twitter page.
Stakeholders in the EAC region have welcomed the new development and urged Kenya and other partners to fulfill their pledges as agreed during the 3rd Joint Multi-Sectoral Virtual Meeting of Ministers of EAC Affairs, Health and Transport held on Friday 14th of January 2022.
The meeting, which was chaired by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for EAC and Regional Development, Hon. Adan Mohamed, underscored the need to minimize administrative delays and enhance rapid clearance of the existing backlog at Malaba and Busia borders with over 4500 trucks stuck at the two borders due to the mandatory Covid-19 testing requirement introduced by Uganda on 20th December 2021.
During the meeting, Uganda had also committed to conducting free Covid-19 rapid tests at the Kenya-Uganda border points of Busia and Malaba to clear the truck traffic snarl-up that has disrupted intra-EAC trade on the Northern Transit Corridor. Uganda has since stopped any Covid19 testing for truck drivers entering Uganda to fast-track clearance of the truck queue at the two borders.
A situation update by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) said “Business is up & running. By midnight into this morning, Busia received 520 trucks, including 148 homebound Fuel Tankers; Malaba received 1,226 trucks, including 65 Fuel Tankers. We’re averting traffic build-up at the borders.”
Busia and Malaba borders have witnessed very long queues of trucks following a strike that started when the government of Uganda introduced new Covid19 protocols contrary to the EAC agreed Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Trucking System (RECDTS) that was adopted by the EAC at the height of the Covid19 pandemic in 2020. Truck drivers through this system have their Covid19 test results valid for 14 days across the EAC.
The Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) and the Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) have been advocating for the quick resolution of the Kenya-Uganda impasse that had hampered the movement of cargo in the region.