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Rwanda: Bars Resume Business After 1.5-Year Closure

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
11:53 pm

“Bars shall resume gradually. The Ministry of Trade Industry/RDB will provide detailed guidelines”, is the sentence that was put in bold, on the bottom of the first page from cabinet communique this evening.

The cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame this Tuesday at Village Urugwiro decided that bars should resume among other relaxation in business effective September 23.

Resuming bars’ business was the most awaited announcement, and it may be a signal, that Rwanda’s battle against COVID-19 is going well though still tough.

Bars were closed in March 2020 when first cases were declared in Rwanda and they were among a few/if not only business that was still categorically closed in observance of COVID-19 preventive measures.

The communique from cabinet further reduced curfew hours  whereby movements in the city of Kigali are prohibited between 11PM – 4 AM. All businesses must close by 10 PM.

In other areas, movements are prohibited between 9 PM -4 AM in the rest of the country (with businesses closing by 8 PM).

However, the districts of Gicumbi, Karongi, Kirehe, Ngoma and Nyagatare with high COVID – 19 incidence, curfew will apply between 8 PM -4 AM (with businesses closing by 7 PM).

Moreover, several businesses will operate at nearly 100% with public and private services operating at 75% of capacity. The same applies to public transport buses and outdoor restaurants.

Physical conferences will also continue with 50% of venue capacity and participants presenting a COVID-19 negative test.

Remaining at the same rate are places of worship which will continue to accommodate 30% of venue capacity.

Meanwhile, outgoing and incoming flights will continue to adhere to existing measures.

“Arriving and departing passengers at Kigali International airport must present a negative COVID – 19 PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure and should comply with health guidelines,” the communique reads.
“Tourism activity will continue in strict adherence with COVID – 19 health guidelines. This includes hotels, tour operators and transport  services facilitating guests.”

Outdoor and non contact sports are also permitted and the Ministry of Local government was tasked to provide guidelines.

Gaming will also open gradually and so will gyms.

While attendance at a wake/vigil (Ikiriyo) should not exceed 30 persons at any one time, funeral gatherings at gravesides should not exceed 50 persons.

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