Uganda revises COVID-19 SOPs, reopens gyms, casinos and expands mass gatherings to 200 people

Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng
Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng addressing the press

Kampala, Uganda |URN | The Ministry of Health (MOH) has revised Standard Operating Procedures [SOPs] allowing politicians, weddings and churches to gather up to a high of 200 people.

Addressing the press on Monday 9, November 2020 evening, Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said politicians are urged to ensure that they have hand washing facilities at places where they hold political rallies and that the masses should wear their face masks and maintain a two meter distance from each other. She advised that politicians avoid using open car roofs and waving at the population while moving.

“The number of people attending political rallies, processions, weddings, meetings are increased from 70 to not more than 200 people. This must be practiced with maximum adherence to SOPs but aspiring politicians should ensure that their gatherings are limited to 200 people at most and everyone must wear a face mask at all times, maintain a physical distance of at least 2 meters on all sides and make available hand washing facilities with soap and water,” Aceng said.

When it comes to Cinema halls, gymnasiums and massage parlors, the minister said they can be opened starting November 14th if they fulfill the requirements of ensuring a physical distance of two meters.  She also opened mobile markets, Casinos and gaming outlets but only for 30 minutes each day.

“Curfew and other areas not mentioned remain as is. Casinos and gaming outlets may resume operations after fulfilling conditions included in the SOPs beginning 14.11.2020. Hours of operation will be restricted to 6:30am to 7:00pm,” Aceng told the press in a briefing on Monday.

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However, while there has been wide spread clamouring for bars and discotheques to open with many already operating illegally in several urban centers, Dr. Aceng says these will remain closed saying in other countries that are currently experiencing a second lockdown, bars have been cited as focal areas of spread.

As of today, Uganda has recorded a cumulative 14,574 people getting infected with some 133 deaths. A total of 7,771 people have since recovered.

Considering the phase of the epidemic Uganda is in, with rising cases and deaths in urban areas, suspension on bars and discotheques will continue.