We have decided to re-open schools for the candidate classes of P-7, S-4, S-6, finalists in tertiary colleges and finalists in universities. Why? Number one, we think that it is safe because the finalists in each learning institution are a much smaller number compared to the total enrollment in these centres. Indeed, the total number of finalists is 1.2million learners out of the total of 15 million, less than 10 per cent. Therefore, each group of finalists will have bigger space for social-distancing – whether they are in day schools or boarding schools. If they follow the SOPs, they will be safe. Moreover, the cost of waiting any further, is quite high. Why? It is because of the jam that will be created in terms of the usual transition from the primary school, lower secondary schools, higher secondary schools, tertiary colleges and universities, respectively. If the batch of 2020 do not move on, what will happen to the batch of 2021? Can we afford to have two batches in 2021? The answer is a clear: “no”. Fortunately, it can be done safely if people follow the SOPs. A solution for the non-finalist learners will be found by January 2021. International schools that have got less numbers, can engage the ministry of Health on the way forward. The schools will open for finalists on the 15th of October, 2020. We are aware of the dilemma of the private schools that were operating on money from Banks etc.
- The international airport and land borders
will now be opened for tourists, coming in and going out, provided they tested negative 72 hours before arrival in Uganda and provided the tour operators ensure that the tourists do not mix with the Ugandans. How will this be done? The tourists will be driven straight from the airport to their destinations or to designated transit hotels that are set aside for that purpose. Business delegations should also be handled in the same way by the local partners. The returning Ugandans, who have negative PCR results, will be allowed to go home. The ministry of Health will only get their addresses for follow up.
- Restrictions on movements on border districts are hereby lifted.
- Curfew, from 2100 hours (9 p.m.) to 6 a.m., will be maintained; but for the boda bodas, their movements must always end at 1800 hours (6 p.m).
- The places of worship, should open with the following precautions:
a. Individual prayers or confessions with priests or counseling with the necessary SOPs.
b. Prayers and fellowships whose numbers do not exceed 70 and by observing all the other SOPs.
c. Night prayers and transnights are not allowed.
d. The regular large gatherings of prayers and preachings of Sundays and Fridays will be considered at a later stage, depending on how the disease will be evolving; but the rule of the number of 70 and not more can be used on the Fridays and Sundays.
e. There should be no Sunday School for children. Let the enemy first go away before the children are involved in this congregating (okwerundaana).
- Open air activities of sports will re-open provided there are no spectators and the players are tested for Covid-19, 72 hours before. This test will expire in 14 days. Hence, the Sportsmen will have to repeat the test.
a. Sportsmen and women should remember that masks should not be worn, when you are engaged in strenuous exercises.
b. With tournaments, teams should be quarantined for the whole season of the competition.
c. Indoor sports activities, including gyms, remain closed. Why? It is because the virus spreads more in enclosed spaces.
- Casinos, gaming centres and cinemas remain closed. Why? It is because those activities are in enclosed spaces and are not compatible with social distancing.
- Bars shall remain closed. Why? It is because bars, apart from many of them being in enclosed spaces, which phenomenon favours the rapid spread of the virus, are not known for sobriety and lack of sobriety is not compatible with health safety through the observance of the health SOPs.
- Hotels will continue operating following the SOPs agreed with the ministry of Health.
- Restaurants should continue to emphasize the
takeaways. Indoor restaurant services should be
minimized and follow the SOPs.
- Mobile Markets, monthly cattle auction and produce markets, should remain closed as the Ministry of Health continues to develop SOPs.
- Mass gatherings are still prohibited. Some people have been trying to use the recent NRM elections to justify their own misbehaviours. Lining behind candidates, is not the same as holding public meetings. Lining behind candidates would have been done scientifically (social-distancing), if the organizers had been serious. With public meetings, however, there can be no social distancing, rationally.
- Our Bamasaaba grandchildren that are engaged in Imbalu in these months, have SOPs from the ministry of Health that were agreed with the Cultural Institution. There should be no processions dancing Kadodi – that is dangerous congregating. The security forces, especially the police, should monitor those activities. Cases of Covid-19 have gone up in Mbale recently. They are now 107 and 5 deaths have occurred in that area.