Rwanda government has released specific guidelines which will have to be followed as bars and drinking joints start to reopen after one year and half closure due to Covid-19.
The new guidelines released by Ministry of Trade and Industry (Minicom) in collaboration with Rwanda Development Board(RDB) follow cabinet meeting decision to reopen bars gradually effective September 23.
In a joint public communiqué released on September 23, both Minicom and RDB listed requirements which will enable a bar to operate under the new window.
All bars have to own a trading license and a sector permit to operate a bar business.
All bars will open and close within the standing Covid-19 curfew hours (closure) which were reduced from 8PM to 11PM effective September 23, 2021 while the opening hours remained at 4AM.
Bars will have to put in place hygiene and sanitation measures of hand washing, sanitizing and the required 1.5 meter social distancing between seats with sign marking on open or closed seats.
They will have play along the cashless payment methods but also encourage revelers to use existing electronic payments which have largely been driven up in uptake due to presence of Covid-19 since March 2020.
Bars will have attendants (staff) dressed in yellow vest uniforms that identifies them and charged with ensuring Covid-19 prevention measures are abiding with.
Door entrances will remain wide open to allow air circulation and where possible, services be offered in open spaces to guarantee clean air amongst clients.
All clients and waiters will have to wear face mask with the former having to do so on entry while the latter have to be masked throughout duty calls.
All staff (especially in Kigali bars) will have to be Covid-19 vaccinated and tested after every 14 days.
Once this is in place, all bar owners will seek a reopening operation license from the sector level or at RDB, however this will be assessed by a local committee to ensure all requirements are in place.
Permits to reopen will be offered in written form and placed at the bar entrance for visibility.
Local security committees in districts and city of Kigali will however be able to put in place additional measures where need be, and penalties for flaunting the measure will be determined by the district councils.
Bar owners and the private sector at large are obliged to ensure and ease the smooth implementation of the above measures however these can change anytime when need be, according to the communiqué signed by Minicom minister Beata U. Habyarimana.