The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) on Friday released the guidelines under which gaming activities as well as public gatherings such as concerts and exhibitions will resume gradually but they will have to adhere to strict Covid-19 preventive measures.
Players in the gaming and creative industries welcome the decision by the Cabinet on September 1 to allow the resumption of these activities, nearly two years after the said sectors were closed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak last year.
Though gaming activities were able to resume briefly in June after a cabinet decision at the end of May, they were closed again in July lockdown measures were reintroduced following an upsurge in Covid-19 cases.
Following the cabinet meeting of September 1, 2021, Covid-19 measures were relaxed, paving a gradual reopening of the two industries.
Regarding social gatherings such as concerts, festivals, and exhibitions, RDB said they will resume gradually for participants under measures which include ensuring that all participants, including organizers and service providers, present a vaccination certificate and a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to the event.
“All events shall be held at 30% venue capacity for indoor venues and 50% capacity for outdoor spaces. All participants must adhere to 1-meter physical distance and wear mask properly all times during the event,”
“All event planners must request permission for events (concerts, festivals, exhibitions) at least 10 days prior by emailing the Rwanda Convention Bureau at [email protected],” RDB said.
RDB further said that live performances are permitted at designated event venues and hospitality establishments.
“Performers must ensure that they are vaccinated, and present valid negative RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen COVID-19 test results taken within the last 72 hours. a 1-meter physical distance must be respected as well as face mask wearing at all times,” a statement signed by the Deputy CEO, Zephanie Niyonkuru, reads.
Regarding gaming activities, MINICOM said they will be resuming operations progressively and in phases starting with the City of Kigali while other provinces will follow.
“Closing hours for gaming activities will follow the public guidelines on the curfew hours. All gaming facilities/ shops must be deeply cleaned, sanitized and disinfected prior to re-opening,”
“All gaming facilities/ shops must be wide enough and equipped with windows that allow a sufficient flow of air. All employees of the gaming companies must be vaccinated at least with the first dose or fully vaccinated,” the Ministry said.
Under the new rules, employees of all gaming facilities must be instructed to stay at home if they feel sick or observe COVID-19 symptoms while all gaming companies are urged to sensitise all players and clients to take a Covid-19 vaccination.
“In addition, a mechanism to constantly remind players about safety measures against Covid-19 shall be put in place. All gaming companies must have an internal self-inspection team to regularly follow up adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures,”
“Each gaming outlet must have an employee or volunteer with a visible coloured vest to follow up and enforce adherence to these measures. A handwashing facility and or hand sanitizer that contains at least 75% alcohol shall be established at every entry and exit point,” the announcement adds.
Gaming shops will not be allowed to show live games while people will not be allowed to sit or stay inside gaming shops. Specific guidelines for casinos were issued and the Ministry set heavy fines for violation of guidelines.