The measures, announced late Friday by President Yoweri Museveni, include a ban on private and public transport within and between districts, including in the capital, Kampala.
Only vehicles carrying goods and those carrying sick or essential workers are allowed to circulate.
“All passenger vehicles are frozen,” Museveni said in a televised address, saying the movement was “the cornerstone” of the surge in recent infections.
The normally crowded stores in downtown Kampala have also been closed. A continuous nighttime curfew will remain in place. The new measures will last 42 days.
Uganda is among the African countries experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of infections amid a shortage of vaccines.
It confirmed a total of 68,779 infections, including 584 deaths. The actual totals are believed to be much higher. Only a few thousand samples are tested daily.
Last year, Uganda took drastic measures to restrict movement when it only had a handful of coronavirus cases. He imposed one of the continent’s first lockdowns and closures. The landlocked country has gradually eased these restrictions as the number of COVID-19 cases declined.
However, serious infections have exploded in recent weeks and overwhelmed the fragile healthcare system.
Doctors told the AFP news agency that oxygen and other essential medical supplies were running out of daily case counts, rising from less than 100 to more than 1,700 in the past three weeks.
This despite the tightened restrictions announced last week, including the closure of schools, bars and most gatherings.
“Hospitals are full,” Museveni warned, adding that “the rapid surge in the intensity of the pandemic seems unprecedented, but still manageable” by introducing restrictions similar to those employed at the start of the pandemic .
Africa’s 1.3 billion people make up 18% of the world’s population, but the continent has received only 2% of all vaccine doses administered globally.