A virtual Cabinet Meeting chaired by President Kagame on Monday reinstated a full lockdown on the City of Kigali amid surging New Coronavirus cases in a bid to curb the spread.
A cabinet statement signed by the Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente said that based on the assessment of the recent unprecedented rise in cases, deaths, and transmission rates in the community, the Cabinet called on Rwandans to heighten vigilance in observing COVID-19 health guidelines in order to slow the spread of the virus.
“The surge in cases specifically in the City of Kigali has necessitated a lockdown. Citizens are urged to significantly reduce social interactions and limit movements only to essential services,” the statement said, highlight measures to be observed in a period of 15 days before they are reviewed again.
Among the specific measures in the City of Kigali, movement is prohibited outside homes, except for essential movements including shopping for food and seeking medical care.
“Unnecessary movements including visits outside home are prohibited except for essential services including medical/healthcare, food shopping, banking etc and for the personnel performing such services,”
“All movements will require an approved permit from Rwanda National Police. A complete list of essential services will be shared by the Ministry of Local Government,” the statement reads.
Similarly, travel between Kigali and other provinces and districts of the country is not permitted, except for essential services and tourism (tourists must possess a negative Covid-19).
Public transport is prohibited however transportation of food and essential goods will continue to function while Motos and bicycles are not permitted to carry passengers, but may offer delivery services.
The cabinet further resolved that all employees (public and private) shall work from home, except for those providing essential services.
Among the resolutions, businesses are closed, except for distribution and delivery services as well as those selling food, medicine (pharmacies), hygiene and cleaning products, fuel, and other essential items but will operate at 30% capacity. Businesses permitted to operate must close by 6 PM.
The cabinet further resolved that restaurants and cafes will only provide take-away service. All schools (public and private) including universities are closed however remote learning is encouraged. Similarly, places of worship are closed.
Meanwhile, Kigali international airport will remain open, arriving passengers must present a negative PCR test taken within 120 hours prior to their first departure. Departing passengers must present a negative PCR test before departure.
Designated hotels for arriving passengers will remain open under strict COVID-19 prevention measures. RDB will share a complete list of approved hotels.
Tourism activity will continue in strict adherence with COVID – 19 health guidelines. This includes hotels, tour operators, and transport services facilitating guests. Tourists and service providers shall inform RDB of itineraries.
Hotels will only host essential conferences upon written approval from RDB. Detailed guidelines will be provided by RDB.
Farming will continue for the ongoing agricultural season while observing COVID – 19 control measures while funeral gatherings should not exceed 15 persons. Attendance at a wake/vigil (Ikiriyo) should not exceed 10 people at any one time.
Measures in the remaining part of the country
In other parts of the country, movements are prohibited from 6 PM to 4 AM while places of worship are closed. Schools in other parts of the country will continue while respecting COVID – 19 control measures.
All bars and gaming activities will remain closed while 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.
Speaking on Rwanda Television on Monday evening, the Minister of Health Dr. Daniel Ngamije said that the decisions were informed by the trend of COVID-19 which they were seeing, which was worsening by the day.