Following Cabinet resolutions on measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has said no restaurant or home delivery services will be allowed in Kigali and eight other districts where the lockdown has been imposed.
Cabinet Wednesday announced a full lockdown (to stay at home) for residents of City of Kigali and the districts of Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Rwamagana and Rutsiro; starting July 17th to July 26th 2021.
The lockdown measures come at a time when Rwanda, has recorded an increased COVID-19 positivity rate from 9.4% to 17.5% in one day; and 60% increase in delta variants, while the restricted areas above have recorded high cases compared to the rest of the country.
“Food delivery and take-away services from restaurants is prohibited during the lockdown…,” RDB said in a part of a Twitter statement this Thursday, July 15, 2021
“Hotels are encouraged to accommodate their staff within their facilities, in order to facilitate in-house guests and limit daily movement. Movement facilitation will be provided for hotels that are not able to accommodate their staff,” the agency added.
However, RDB, left an open window for the tourism sector saying that tourists and foreigners traveling into the country are welcome and will be facilitated.
“International tourists traveling into the country are very welcome and will be fully facilitated with movement clearances to ensure a very smooth experience while respecting COVID-19 guidelines. This includes hotels, tour operators and transport services assisting visitors,”
Concerned citizens asked if food delivery from restaurants to home is not allowed. RDB CEO Clare Akamanzi replied:
“Yes because restaurants are closed anyway, except those serving clients in hotels,”
“You are wrong, many restaurants have been delivering food as per the rules and regulations,” said one other citizen.
In response Akamanzi said “Yes! Takeaways were allowed before. But these were suspended following Cabinet decisions yesterday which will take effect from 17th July. I believe the question was referring to the new rules. Hope we are on the same page now?”
Unanswered public queries
The announcement by RDB set social media abuzz with many wondering how single people living alone, and cannot cook will get food yet they have been depending on restaurants in the neighborhoods.
What if the very welcomed tourist needs a home delivery and is not staying out in a hotel? These and many more questions posted on Twitter following the announcement today are yet to be answered.
A subsequent announced issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) on Thursday left out restaurants and cafes but said shops and supermarkets selling food will be allowed to operate, living a window for people to buy food and cook at home.