The resolution of the virtual cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame is part of stringent measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic which has been on steady rise.
Kigali city has been the major hotspot for surging Coronavirus cases where 862 COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths were recorded between 11th January to 17th January 2021.
“Upon health assessment of the recent unprecedented rise in cases, deaths and transmission rates in the community, the cabinet called on Rwandans to heighten vigilance in observing COVID-19 health guidelines in order to slow the spread of the virus,” reads part of a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister.
“The surge in cases specifically in the City of Kigali has necessitated a lockdown. Citizens are urged to significantly reduce social interactions and limit movements only to essential services,” adds the statement.
Specific measures in the City of Kigali
a) Unnecessary movements including visits outside home are prohibited except for essential services including medical/ healthcare, food shopping, banking etc and for the personnel performing such services. All movements will require an approved permit from Rwanda National Police. A complete list of essential services will be shared by the Ministry of Local Government.
b) Travel between Kigali and other provinces and districts of the country is not permitted, except for essential services and tourism (tourists must possess negative Covid-19 test results).
c) Public transport is prohibited, however transportation of food and essential goods will continue to function. Motos and bicycles are not permitted to carry passengers, but may offer delivery services.
d) All employees (public and private) shall work from home, except for those providing essential services.
e) Businesses are closed, except distribution and delivery services as well as those selling food, medicine, (pharmacies), hygiene and cleaning products, fuel, and other essential items but will operate at 30% capacity. Businesses permitted to operate must close by 6pm.
f) Restaurants and cafés will only provide take-away service.
g) All schools (public and private) including universities are closed however remote learning is encouraged.
h) Places of worship are closed.
i) Kigali International Airport will remain open, arriving passengers must present a negative PCR taken within 120 hours prior to their first departure. Departing passengers must present a negative PCR test before departure.
j) Designated hotels for arriving passengers will remain open under strict COVID-19 prevention measures. RDB will share complete list of approved hotels.
k) Tourism activity will continue in strict adherence with COVID-19 health guidelines. This includes hotels, tour operators and transport services facilitating guests. Tourists and service providers shall inform RDB of itineraries.
l) Hotels will only host essential conferences upon written approval from RDB. Detailed guidelines will be provided by RDB.
m) Farming will continue for the ongoing agricultural season while observing COVID-19 control measures.
n) Funeral gatherings should not exceed 15 persons.
Measures in the remaining part of the country
a) Movements are prohibited from 6pm to 4pm.
b) Places of worship are closed.
c) Schools will continue while respecting COVID-19 control measures.
d) All social gatherings and events including religious wedding ceremonies, receptions, meetings, and conferences are prohibited.
e) Public gyms and swimming pools shall be restricted from the public with the exception of tested guests staying at hotels.
f) Attendance at a wake / vigil (Ikiriyo) should not exceed 10 people at any one time.
g) Funeral gatherings should not exceed 15 persons.
h) Gaming activities remain prohibited.
These measures will take effect immediately to be reviewed after 15 days upon a health assessment.