Covid-19: Rwanda closes 18 hotels for violating rules, revises measures
Eighteen major restaurants and hotels in Rwanda’s capital Kigali have been temporarily closed and fined for violating the rules, as the country steps up efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Rwanda has also revised Covid-19 rules, with the country now requiring all Rwandans travelling out of the country to be fully vaccinated.
The revised rules have made Covid-19 vaccination certificates and negative test results mandatory to access public places, including restaurants and other recreational activities. Concerts, nightclubs, and other festivities have been prohibited.
Hotels, restaurants, and bars that violate the current guidelines risk closure for one to three months and fines ranging from Rwf150,000 to Rwf300,000 (approximately $145-$288).
Rwanda is currently adhering to a 10pm-4am curfew.
While vaccination certificates are mandatory in Kigali and all secondary cities, travellers who arrive in Rwanda are not obliged to be vaccinated. They are, however, required to take a PCR test and quarantine for three days.
Tourists are also required to take a PCR test on the third and seventh days after their arrival and a rapid test daily at their own cost. Tourists who want to visit national parks are exempted from the three-day quarantine.
The price for PCR tests has been reduced from Rwf47,000 ($46) to Rwf37,000 ($36). The rapid test costs Rwf5,000 ($5).
If travellers test results are positive for Covid-19 (even if asymptomatic) while in Rwanda, they will be treated until they have fully recovered, at their own cost. Travellers are encouraged to have international travel insurance.
The current guidelines were imposed in early December when Rwanda first reported cases of the new Omicron variant.
The number of Covid-19 infections reached its peak in December during the festive season. The numbers of fatalities and critical cases, however, remained lower compared to previous waves of infections.
Health officials attribute this to mass vaccination campaigns that have reached over 7.7 million Rwandans.
In the last seven days, 7,784 results among 124,529 tests conducted were positive. 62 people were admitted to hospitals, and 18 died. Three patients are currently in critical condition, and the infection rate stands at 6 percent.