An extraordinary Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame via video conference on Monday made key decisions that will see the country slowly reopen other areas of the economy by June 1 as the government cautiously moves towards normalization.
A statement released by Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente on May 18 said the Cabinet reviewed existing measures to further contain the spread of the COVID – 19 Pandemic in line with the progress the country has made and revised them to make life much easier in the coming days.
Among the general preventive measures that will remain in place include mass screening and testing for COVID-19 nationwide, wearing of safety masks in public at all times while movements are prohibited from 9 PM to 5 AM -extending the existing curfew time by one hour.
“All resumed services must continue adhering to health guidelines from health authorities (hand hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing). All traders are required to accept digital payments as an alternative form of payment. These measures will be reviewed after 15 days upon a health assessment,” the statement reads.
The Cabinet resolved that public and private businesses will continue with essential staff while other employees continue working from home. Individual sporting activity in open spaces is permitted however gyms shall remain closed.
“Public and private transport will continue within the same province however transport between different provinces and city of Kigali remain closed. This shall resume on June 1st 2020,” the PM announced
In yet another measure that will ease public transport, the Cabinet said Motos are not permitted to carry passengers, but may carry goods and continue to offer delivery services but regular moto services shall resume on June 1st 2020.
Earlier, the Cabinet had expressed fears on the practicability of social distancing on the two wheeled motor vehicle which remains a popular means of transport in Rwanda.
Funeral gatherings will continue but should not exceed 30 persons while in yet another new measure, civil marriage ceremonies will resume but should not exceed 15 persons. However other related ceremonies including church services and receptions are not permitted.
The Cabinet meeting further resolved that borders will remain closed, except for goods and cargo, as well as returning Rwandan citizens and legal residents.
“All returnees will be subjected to mandatory quarantine in accordance with existing health guidelines at their own cost,” the measures read, adding that schools will remain closed until September 2020.
Places of worship as well as bars will remain closed while mass gatherings in public spaces and homes are still prohibited.
Rwanda remains on the alert to avert any possible spread of the virus which continues to claim lives across the world. The country has so far registered 297 cases with five new cases recorded on Monday. However the new cases are mainly attributed to cross border movements.