Rwanda reinstates mandatory quarantine for arriving passengers

On 27 November 2021 at 08:00

The Government of Rwanda has reinstated mandatory quarantine for all passengers arriving in Rwanda where they have to stay at designated hotels for 24 hours and cater for all expenses. According to a statement released by the Ministry of Health, the decision follows the confirmation of new serious COVID-19 variant in South Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a new coronavirus variant to be "of concern" and named it Omicron.

The WHO has revealed that it has a large number of mutations, and early evidence suggested an increased reinfection risk.

It was first reported from South Africa on 24th November 2021, and has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel.

Considering the severity of the new variant, different countries have banned to and from southern Africa.

The Ministry of Health has said that the quarantine for arriving passengers takes effect from 28th November 2021.

“Following confirmation of a serious new COVID-19 variant detected in Southern Africa, the Ministry of Health is reinstating the obligatory 24-hour quarantine in designated hotels for all persons arriving into Rwanda, effective Sunday 28th November 2021 at noon,” reads the statement in part.

Rwandans have been urged to continue respecting instituted COVID-19 preventive measures including proper wearing of face masks at all times, ensuring maximum ventilation in indoor spaces (keep doors and windows open as much as possible), avoiding crowds, crowded spaces and unnecessary social gatherings, maintaining physical distance of at least one meter form others as well as washing or sanitizing hands frequently.

“These measures are being taken to limit the spread of the new variant and protect the gains Rwanda has made so far in managing COVID-19 pandemic and reopening the economy. Additional measures will be announced in the coming days,” adds the statement.

Rwanda had removed 24-hour quarantine for all arriving vaccinated passengers on 14th October 2021.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ngamije has told RBA that the new variant spreads fast.

He revealed that Rwanda has not yet started considering the imposition of lockdown because research is underway to gather more relevant information about the variant.

So far, different countries including the United Kingdom and the Netherlands among others from Europe have banned flights South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Lesotho.

The Government of Rwanda has imposed mandatory quarantine for all arriving passengers.