Rwanda Partially Lifts COVID-19 Lockdown: Schools, Churches Remain Closed

The cabinet meeting that took place on April 30th has lifted the COVID-19 lockdown that started on March 21 with some exceptions and conditions. Among others, schools will remain closed until September 2020, churches and bars will remain closed, but businesses will open, on several conditions.

The new measures will take effect on Monday 4th and will be reviewed after 15 days after a health assessment.

According to a statement of the cabinet resolutions, public and private businesses will resume with essential staff while other employees continue working from home.

Markets will open for essential vendors not exceeding 50% of registered traders while the manufacturing and construction sectors were also be allowed to open for only essential workers.

Hotels and restaurants were now allowed to open until 7PM. During the last period of lockdown, they were allowed to open only for takeaway services.

Individual sports activities in open spaces are now permitted, but sports facilities remain closed.

Private and public transport will resume within the same province, meaning that no transport from Kigali to upcountry or vice versa will be allowed until further notice.

In public transport, operators were required to ensure that passengers maintain social distancing and only passengers with face masks will be allowed onboard.

Funeral services will not exceed the number of 30 persons compared to 15 people previously.

Schools closed until September, Churches, Bars still closed

The cabinet directed that schools remain closed until September 2020 and places of worship will remain closed for an indefinite period.

In Sports also, Gym and recreational centers will remain closed and so will all bars.

As earlier said, the public and private transport between provinces is not permitted. Apparently the previous instruction which allows essential services like medication, agriculture, on top of the transport of goods will still apply. During the total lockdown, these services continued.

Motorcycles and bicycles are not allowed in the transport of people; they are only allowed in the transport of goods.

Borders will also remain closed, except for cargo and returning Rwandans and legal residents who will still have to first stay in a-14 day quarantine.

How Will You Go out of your compound?

According to the Cabinet resolutions, people will not go out as if nothing happened; rather, they will have to keep precautions and avoid being exposed to infection.

One of the measures that were taken is that mass screening and testing for COVID-19 will continue nationwide and face masks have to be worn at all times in the public.

All resumed works were also required to adhere to all measures of the ministry of health that are related to hygiene, face masks wearing, and keeping social distance.

The cabinet continued to encourage electronic payments.

Movements are also prohibited from 8 PM through 5 AM.

While President Paul Kagame thanked the effort of each and every Rwandan in fighting COVID-19 and avoiding its further spread, he reminded that “the fight is not over.”

Rwanda makes this step while the number of cases keeps increasing, but not from inside the country.

The Ministry of Health on Thursday announced 18 new COVID-19 cases out of 1, 140 samples tested in 24hrs.

 The new cases push the total to 243 while recoveries are now 104 after 6 new recoveries were announced. Active cases are now 139 and no deaths. 

The new cases are the latest in the increasing number of cases registered in recent days, attributed to cross-border truck drivers and their assistants. 




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