All lorry drivers crossing over the border into Uganda will not be allowed to carry passengers in their vehicles or to sleep in hotels or other people’s homes as part of new measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni made announcement after more than 20 of drivers entering the country from Kenya tested positive for Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus.
Mandatory testing for Covid-19 for lorry drivers began earlier this week has been causing huge traffic jams on the border between Kenya and Uganda.
The route from the Kenyan port city of Mombasa is vital for transporting food, medicine and other essential goods to Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
President Museveni said stopping cargo traffic altogether would be suicidal.
He also spoke out against growing hostility towards truck drivers by some Ugandans who worry they could be transmitting the disease.
But he acknowledged that the group posed a real threat and compared the situation to the Aids scourge of the 1980s and 1990s when lorry drivers in the region transmitted HIV in towns and cities they travelled through.