Lockdown lifted in Kigali, new directives take effect

On 8 February 2021 at 08:09

The lockdown in City of Kigali has been lifted effective Monday, February 8, with all residents of Rwanda expected to embrace the new COVID-19 prevention measures.

The new measures as outlined by the Cabinet meeting held on February 2, will run up to February 22.

All you need to know about new directives:


As the new directives take effect, movements between Kigali and provinces, and districts are prohibited, except for essential services or tourism.

Vehicles transporting goods will continue to function with no more than two people onboard.

Public and private transport will resume within Kigali. However, public transport should not exceed 50% capacity and bus operators are tasked to ensure passengers maintain social distancing and only passengers with masks will be allowed onboard.

Private businesses will resume with essential staff at no more than 30% capacity while other employees continue working from home on a rotational basis. Markets and malls shall open for essential vendors and must not exceed 50% of registered traders.

All resuming businesses must close by 5pm.

Public offices will be closed. All employees will be working from home except for those providing essential services.

Motos and bicycles are permitted to carry passengers but must observe strict hygiene

All schools (public, private, universities) will remain closed.

Restaurants and cafes will only provide take-away services.

Gyms and recreational centres are prohibited

Individual sports are permitted between 5am-9am.

Crosscutting directives and prohibited services across the country

Movements are prohibited between 7pm-4am.

Attendance at vigil shall not exceed 10 persons at any one time. Funeral gatherings should not exceed 15 persons.

Physical meetings, events and gatherings are prohibited.

All bars, gamings, places of worship, religious ceremonies, receptions and conferences are prohibited.

Public gyms and swimming pools shall be restricted from the public with exception of tested guests staying at hotels.

Specific directives in provinces

Movement between districts is prohibited.

Schools will continue while respecting COVID-19 prevention measures.

Public transport including motos and bicycles will continue to operation within districts.


Tourism activities will continue in strict adherence with COVID-19 prevention measures. This include hotels, tour operators and transport services.

Tourists must possess negative COVID-19 test results.

Kigali International Airport will remain open. Arriving passengers must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to the first departure; must self-quarantine for 7 days and take a PCR test at the end of this period.

Departing passengers must present a negative PCR test before departure.

Tourists and service providers shall inform RDB of their itineraries.

Awareness and enforcement

Rwanda National Police spokesperson, CP John Bosco Kabera said that the past three weeks of lockdown in Kigali were characterised with increased violations.

"Across the country, 185, 356 pedestrians were arrested in varied violations; 3,792 vehicles and 1,518 motos impounded while 6,360 people were arrested in bars drinking," CP Kabera said.

He took time to urge the general public to comply with the new directives maximumly.

RNP, CP Kabera said, will continue to work with other entities including local leaders and youth volunteers in awareness to further influence behavioral change but also to penalise errand violators, including those holding prohibited gatherings like parties and prayers in homes and bars.

Between January 19 and February 6, a total of 327,509 people applied by movement clearance permit of which 232,520 permits were issued and 94,989 denied.

"Effective Monday, February 8, movement clearance will be issued for those moving in prohibited hours; going or coming from the airport, discharged from quarantine in hotels and those seeking medical services," CP Kabera said.