Covid-19: Rwanda closes 18 hotels for violation of rules, revises measures

By Ange Iliza

Eighteen major restaurants and hotels in Rwanda’s capital Kigali have been temporarily closed and fined for breaking the rules, as the country steps up efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Revised rules

Rwanda has also revised the rules for Covid-19, with the country now requiring all Rwandans traveling outside the country to be fully immunized.

The revised rules made Covid-19 vaccination certificates and negative test results mandatory for access to public places, including restaurants and other leisure activities. Concerts, discos and other festivities have been banned.

Hotels, restaurants and bars that violate current guidelines face closure for one to three months and fines ranging from Rwf 150,000 to Rwf 300,000 (approximately $ 145 to $ 288).

Rwanda is currently adhering to a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew.

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While vaccination certificates are mandatory in Kigali and all secondary towns, travelers arriving in Rwanda are not required to be vaccinated. They are, however, required to take a PCR test and self-quarantine for three days.

Tourists

Tourists are also required to take a PCR test on the third and seventh days after arrival and a daily rapid test at their own expense. Tourists wishing to visit national parks are exempt from the three-day quarantine.

The price of PCR tests has been reduced from 47,000 Rwf ($ 46) to 37,000 Rwf ($ 36). The rapid test costs 5,000 Rwf ($ 5).

If travelers’ test results are positive for Covid-19 (even if they are asymptomatic) while in Rwanda, they will be treated until they have fully recovered, at their own expense. Travelers are encouraged to purchase international travel insurance.

Covid infections

The current guidelines were imposed in early December when Rwanda first reported cases of the new Omicron variant.

The number of Covid-19 infections peaked in December during the holiday season. The number of deaths and critical cases, however, remained lower than in previous waves of infections.

Health officials attribute this to the mass vaccination campaigns that have reached over 7.7 million Rwandans.

In the past seven days, 7,784 of 124,529 tests performed were positive. 62 people were hospitalized and 18 died. Three patients are currently in critical condition and the infection rate is 6%.

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