Rwanda abolishes mandatory wearing of face masks

On 14 May 2022 at 08:00

The Government of Rwanda has eased COVI19 preventive measures by cancelling the mandatory wearing of face masks.

The decision is part of resolutions of the cabinet meeting held on Friday 13th May 2022 at Village Urugwiro chaired by President Paul Kagame. The meeting reviewed existing health measures regarding COVID-19.

"All measures remain in effect and will be reviewed after one month upon health assessment," reads part of a statement released by the Office of Prime Minister.

Cancelling the mandatory wearing of face masks is among eased measures of the meeting.

"Wearing face masks is no longer mandatory. However, people are encouraged to wear masks indoors. The public is urged to get frequently tested while continuing to observe preventive measures," adds the statement.

As COVID-19 emerged, Rwanda was among countries that rushed to implement preventive measures. The country had made the wearing of face masks mandatory since April 2020.

Rwanda bans mandatory use of face masks at a time when efforts to fight the pandemic are yielding good results.

Figures from the Ministry of Health released on Friday indicate that only seven people out of 6702 sample tests were confirmed positive.

The reduction is linked to the number of Rwandans who have been already vaccinated. So far; 9,028,849 people have received the first dose of COVID-19; 8,494,713 received two doses while 4,371,568 have received the booster dose.

Rwandans have been reminded to get full vaccinated to access public places including public transport.

The cabinet meeting reminded people that getting fully vaccinated means having two doses and the booster one when eligible (administered three months after the second dose).

Arriving passengers at Kigali International Airport must present a negative rapid test taken 72 hours prior to the departure.

An additional test will be taken upon arrival at own cost.

"Departing passengers at Kigali International Airport must present negative rapid or PCR test [depending on requirements at destination] taken 72 hours prior to departure. All departing Rwandans must be vaccinated," adds the statement.

Rwanda cancels mandatory use of face masks following other countries including USA, Ghana, Ireland and France.