A cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Dr Edouard Ngirente at Urugwiro Village on Monday, reinstated tougher measures aimed at curbing the spread of the New Coronavirus, with travel to and from the City of Kigali restricted.
New measures were expected to be announced on January 4 to replace the ones put in place 15 days ago, but it had been feared that with the rising number of new cases and deaths, tougher measures would be taken to contain the spread, including a possible lockdown.
“Given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, with half the total deaths occurring in December, cabinet tightened existing health measures in order to contain the spread of the virus. The public needs to significantly reduce social interaction and limit movements for essential services,”
“In order to contain further spread of the virus, all citizens are reminded of the critical importance of complying with health measures including physical distancing, wearing face masks and hand hygiene. Penalties will be applied for non-compliance,” a cabinet statement released on Monday reads.
The Cabinet meeting maintained curfew time from 8pm to 4am, while all business establishments including restaurants, shops, markets and malls, will close operations daily by 6pm.
“Public and private transport is prohibited to and from City of Kigali as well as between different districts. Travel will only be permitted for medical reasons and essential services. Additionally, vehicles transporting goods will continue to function with no more than two people on board,”
“Domestic and international tourists may travel across districts but must possess negative COVlD-19 test results,” the government decided.
As earlier decided in the previous cabinet meeting institutions (public and private) will continue to operate at not more than 30% capacity of staff. Other employees shall continue working from home on a rotational basis.
Those who were planning weddings will have to wait a little longer as all social gatherings and events including religious weddings ceremonies, receptions, meetings and conferences are prohibited.
Public gyms and swimming pools shall be restricted from the public, with the exception of tested guests staying at hotels. Similarly, attendance to wakes/vigils will not exceed 15 people while funeral gatherings are not expected to exceed 30 persons.