RDB issues notice for tourism and travel stakeholders on COVID-19

On 9 March 2020 at 10:30

In response to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the government of Rwanda has created a multidisciplinary team involving the office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local government to reinforce preparedness in case of an outbreak in Rwanda and promote policies which were put in place to counter the virus.

With the support of the multidisciplinary team, surveillance measures at all points of entry have been reinforced mainly through using high-tech equipment and medics to screen and check travel histories of all visitors to Rwanda.

A notice issued by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) stated that no case of the Coronavirus has been identified thus far. However, RDB advised tourists to reschedule their travel plans and restrict international travel until the pandemic is contained. Based on this advice, some rules have been imposed to visitors including the removal of the 7-day notice prior to visit date, for tourists to postpone their park permits and the removal of the 30-day requirement for tour operators to have submitted the final payment for reserved permits.

Visitors who wish to postpone their park permit due to flight cancelations, travel ban or being infected with COVID-19 were offered up to 2 years to postpone their bookings with no extra charges.

Tourists who purchased low season discounted permits for gorilla trekking will have up to 2 years to postpone and consume their permit.

Finally, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) tourists who have purchased Gorilla trekking permits will have up to 2 years to postpone and consume them.

The Coronavirus spreads through direct contact with the infected person, sneezing and
coughing. To prevent the spread of the virus, the World Health Organization advises regular handwashing with alcohol-based hand sanitizers or clean water and soap, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. In addition, it is important to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.