Officials from the European Union have declared Uganda’s parks as officially open to tourism after making symbolic visits at the weekend.
The Ugandan tourism industry is now hoping the government will open the country’s airspace soon, to allow flights carrying foreign visitors.
Tourism, which earns Uganda $1.6bn (£1.2bn) a year, has suffered huge losses since the country was shut down in March to contain coronavirus.
Travel by road and air was banned, but hotels which were forced to close are open again.
The reopening of national parks is another step towards the recovery of tourism, but the industry needs airlines flying again to bring in foreign visitors.
Uganda’s airport and aviation authorities have issued measures to keep travelers and staff safe, such as screening passengers and their luggage for the virus.
However, that process will require people, who are departing the country, to be at the airport four hours before their flight leaves.
Once those aviation measures get a green light from the government Uganda’s tourism industry will be ready for takeoff.
The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Tom Butime, has assured the public that Uganda’s national parks are safe to visit because government has continued to prioritize the safety of tourists and communities.
The Minister said that security in the national parks has been boosted to ensure that when the country opens its borders to international visitors, their safety is guaranteed.
“I want to use this opportunity to assure the public and the international community that our parks are very safe and secure. The security of tourists in the parks is a high priority for the government and we shall continue to make strategic and operational interventions to ensure that our parks and other recreational facilities are safe for tourists,” Minister Butime said.