As of 25th March 2020 Uganda had registered 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which number is expected to increase, in response to which The Government of Uganda has issued two (2) Corvid-19 focused Statutory Instruments, i.e., The Public Health (Control of Covid-19) Rules, 2020 SI No.52 of 2020 and The Public Health (Prohibition of Entry into Uganda) Order, 2020, SI No.53 of 2020
The Covid-19 Rules impose an obligation on occupiers of premises, employers and heads of households to notify the local authority upon becoming aware that any person residing or occupying premises, or employee is suffering from COVID-19.
The Rules also empower medical officers and health inspectors or persons acting on their instructions to enter upon any premises to search for any case of COVID-19 or to make inquiries into whether there is or has been any COVID-19 case on the premises.
The Rules ban spitting in public buildings or places to which the public has access, and also ban or close, albeit for a limited period, activities, events, meetings or gatherings of schools and institutions of higher learning, bars, cinema halls, places of worship, social and cultural events (weddings, funerals), public gatherings of whatever sort, sporting events and trade in live animals.
Breach of this provision attracts imprisonment for a period not more than two months with no provision for payment of a fine. Escape from isolation or quarantine has also been criminalized with perpetrators to be imprisoned for a period of not more than two months.
The Public Health (Prohibition of Entry Into Uganda) Order on the other hand prohibits the entry into Uganda of any person or animal through the border posts in Uganda save for employees of any United Nations Organization and any humanitarian organization as well as vehicles and aircrafts used in the conveyance of cargo.
The COVID-19 Rules introduce stringent legal obligations on all members of the public as occupiers of premises, whether commercial or residential, heads of households and employers, with severe ramifications in the event of breach.
For more clarification in relation to these Rules and Orders as well as frequently asked questions in relation to the legal implications of COVID-19 onEmployment, Real Estate, Corporate, Banking &Finance, please see our compilation of FAQs and contact the persons above.