Rwanda Eases Lockdown, Wearing Face Masks Mandatory

Kigali under lockdown. Photo by Plaisir Muzogeye

The Rwandan government has announced the easing of the current nationwide lockdown, implemented on March 17 to stem the spread of coronavirus.

In a cabinet statement issued on April 30, the eve of the expiry of total lockdown measures, Kigali says private, and public businesses can open but with essential staff while others work from home. Hotels and restaurants will operate up to 7 pm.

Hotels, public and private business will resume activities on May 4, churches, bars, gyms and recreational centers will remain closed. Schools will also remain closed until September 2020.

Markets will also open but only have 50 percent of the vendors. Private and public transport will resume within the same province but is banned when moving out to other provinces.

Also opened are bus services, but passengers will have to maintain social distancing and only allow people with masks onboard while funerals are restricted to only 30 people.

Motorcycles and bicycles will also not carry passengers but carry goods. Also, sports activities for individuals will be allowed although sports facilities like stadiums will remain closed. Borders are closed except for goods.

In an earlier statement, Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Ndamije said in an earlier statement that wearing masks in public was mandatory.  He said citizens must have the masks on when social distancing is not possible, including at markets and stores that provide essential commodities.


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