For 496 days, artistes have not been able to perform after concerts were banned in Uganda with the outbreak of COVID-19 and they will have to wait longer.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced a regional 42-day lockdown on Sunday 6th March, 2021 as a means to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The 42 days ended on Friday 30th July, 2021 amidst great anticipation from the public that the lockdown would be ended and life would get back to normal with a most restrictions being lifted.

The fountain of honor addressed the nation on the way forward on Friday evening and despite easing on a few restrictions, bars and concerts remain under lockdown.

Bars, night clubs, concerts, music shows, and other leisure events were banned with other public gatherings in March 2020 with the Coronavirus breakout.

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The story is not about to change for the arts industry because the new presidential directives extend the ban on public events and concerts for another 42 days pending review.

Bars, nightclubs, and other hangout spots also continue the long streak of lockdown for the next 42 days.

The above restrictions have been criticised by the affected parties who point out that their livelihoods have been adversely affected since March 2020.

Performing artistes, concerts, and comedians are advised to perform virtually. Bars to remain closed and enforcement agencies are directed to arrest and charge both revelers and owners who breach this directive. These measures shall be reviewed after 42 days.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

Several other sectors including education, transport, and others, were partially opened pending review after two weeks and 42 days respectively.

Below is a summary of president Museveni’s address:

  • Places of worship to remain closed for another 60 days.
  • Malls, arcades and other business centres allowed to open and must comply to SOPs.
  • Roadside vending within Kikuubo banned.
  • Boda Boda riders and passenger MUST wear masks.
  • Boda Bodas allowed to move upto 6pm and allowed to carry one passenger each or cargo.
  • Curfew time maintained at 7pm upto 5.30am.
  • Bars and Corcerts should remain closed.
  • Indoor sports events, gyms, remain closed.
  • Restaurants and saloons allowed to be opened but should observe SOPs.
  • Saunas and steambaths remain closed.
  • Private vehicles allowed to move across districts but with only 3 passengers including the driver.
  • Public transport will open effective Monday but with 20%.
  • Schools to remain closed.
  • Food markets should remain open, seasonal markets (ebikomela and obutale) remain closed.
  • There must be no air conditioning in public transport vehicles.
  • Conferences, workshops and seminars remain closed and disallowed.

Josh Ruby is an Editor with high interest and knowledge in the Ugandan entertainment space, an industry he has been actively part of since 2010. Leads to breaking stories are welcome!

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