17th March 2020

The Virus

COVID-19 is a new virus that can affect your lungs and airways. There is an ongoing outbreak of COVID19 virus in China and in a number of other countries across the world, including the United Kingdom. The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate.

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

Everyone should follow all recommended precautions from the NHS including:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Wipe down your work area and communal equipment daily with anti-viral wipes/spray
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

There are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 in Uganda.

International Volunteering Projects

The health, safety and well-being of our international volunteers, the children and the communities we serve is paramount to our organisation. Having successfully delivered volunteer opportunities to thousands of individuals over the past 10 years, we have robust emergency response measures to deal with any in-country emergencies that could affect our volunteers and projects.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Uganda

However, to ensure the continued protection of its people, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uganda has as of 11th March 2020, implemented enhanced measures to prevent the importation of COVID-19 into the country. People residing in the UK (as well as Italy, San Marino, Iran, South Korea, France, China, Germany, Spain, Belgium, USA, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Austria and Malaysia) are advised to consider postponing non-essential travel to Uganda. Any traveller from the UK, including Uganda nationals, who insist on visiting Uganda will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Uganda EVEN if they do not exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

When the UK can demonstrate that it has successfully contained the outbreak, it will be removed from these measures, after 14 days with no news cases.

The measures will be reviewed weekly by the Ministry of Health and the travel advisory updated every Wednesday.

The Coronavirus situation is a rapidly changing one and we act based on the official advice from the Foreign Commonwealth Office, World Health Organisation, British High Commission in Uganda and Ministry of Health, Uganda.

At this time, travel to Uganda is not advised due to the quarantine requirements. However, our volunteering projects are due to take place from June to September 2020, by which time we hope that the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK will have been contained. This will result in the continuation of the volunteer projects to Uganda, as planned.

Please therefore continue to fundraise and prepare for your Summer adventure to Uganda as normal. Please ensure as a matter of priority that you have appropriate travel insurance to cover any eventuality arising from COVID-19.

We will keep you updated of any changes to the situation and contingency plans.

Please contact [email protected] for any further advice relating to any concerns regarding COVID-19 and your forthcoming trip to Uganda.

Fundraising Activities

We encourage all supporters to continue fundraising activities whilst following all recommended NHS precautions to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing and those of others they come into contact with. On this basis, we strongly recommend fundraisers focus on online fundraising activities and avoid fundraising that requires close contact with others.

Any fundraiser who believes they may have contracted the virus or have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus should immediately:

  1. Self-isolate
  2. Call 111 for further advice or visit https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
  3. Inform EAP by phone on 01908 326303 or email [email protected]

Please contact [email protected] for any further advice relating any concerns regarding COVID-19 and your planned fundraising activities.

Review

East African Playground’s response to COVID-19 will be reviewed on a daily basis by the CEO and Uganda Country Director and updates produced as the situation changes.  

Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers

Should I book my vaccinations?

If you have not already got your vaccinations, in the interest of not overwhelming the NHS, we advice that you book your vaccinations 8 weeks before you fly, this is in line with the Fit for Travel website https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

Should I book my flights?

If you purchase your flights during the time that Uganda advises against all essential travel then your insurance would be void. Therefore we advice that you hold off from booking your flights for now and speak to STA for further guidance on 0161 537 7912

Should I book my insurance?

Please call STA travel to book your insurance

Should I book my visa?

We advise that you book your visa a month before you fly.

Should I carry on fundraising?

We ask that you continue fundraising, as your projects are not until June - September, by which point we hope that the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK will have been contained resulting in your projects resuming as normal. Please therefore continue to fundraise and prepare for your Summer adventure to Uganda as normal. We will be sending you a number of online fundraising ideas, in light of the current government advice against public events.