70 hospitality establishments penalized for breaching COVID-19 prevention directives

On 28 September 2020 at 11:27

About 70 hospitality establishments in Kigali have been either penalized or closed after they were found operating contrary to the directives designed to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

The establishments include restaurants, motels and bars, which were found selling alcohol or operating their bar sections, which are supposed to be closed in this period as per the government directive.

These are among the violations that were observed during the two-week assessment and operations organized by Rwanda National Police (RNP) and conducted jointly with local authorities and other charged institutions.

At least 270 people were caught in the fined and closed hospitality facilities in prohibited social gatherings and drinking alcohol, according to the assessment report.

Over 130 businesses were also not using the recommended cashless payment systems while more than 30 others had neither hand washing apparatuses nor hand sanitizers available.

According to RNP spokesperson, Commissioner of Police (CP) John Bosco Kabera, the inspection was part of the "Rwanda National Police’s ongoing awareness on the government directives, safety behaviors and practices as well as maximum compliance."

"It is the usual RNP proactive practice of implementing the law and other directives mainly through education and awareness," CP Kabera said.

He added: "This specific inspection was, therefore, meant to assess the level of compliance, ensure that those caught in serious violations are penalized but more importantly remind and educate different groups of people on their responsive roles to exhibit behaviors and actions that not only make them safe from the pandemic but also prevent them from spreading the virus where they work, live, walk, in their businesses where they serve clients and anywhere someone runs personal errands."

The inspection targeted hospitality establishments, markets and trading centers.
It also assessed key COVID-19 prevention guidelines like washing or sanitizing hands, social distancing, cashless payment, wearing facemask as well as respect for movement hours.

"It is commendable that the level of compliance is largely high, although one error or one person can lead to further spread of the pandemic; no one wants that and that calls for individual responsibility to make right and safety choices in whatever you do," CP Kabera said.

He commended the role played by the public in sharing information on violators, and called for the continued spirit of community policing.