The Rwandan government pushed back the nationwide overnight curfew by two hours from Friday, September 11, with the movement restrictions now in effect from 21:00 - 05:00 (local time). The move comes two weeks after the curfew was brought forward to 19:00 on August 26 amid a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country, with many of the new infections focused in the capital. However, the government stated that a fall in the number of daily infections from around 200 per day in late August to less than 50 per day over the last week had allowed the measure to be eased.
As well as the reduced curfew hours, restrictions on travel in and out of the western district of Rusizi have also been lifted, three months after the government banned non-essential travel to the region following the identification of a COVID-19 cluster. Private transport between Rusizi and other districts in the country will now be permitted with hygiene measures in effect.
International commercial flights from Kigali International Airport (KGL) resumed on August 1 amid the easing of COVID-19-related restrictions. All travelers entering the country are required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from within 120 hours prior to their departure to the country. Travelers will also be required to enter into temporary quarantine at a government-designated hotel and take a second COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival, with onward travel within the country being authorized after confirmation of a negative test result. COVID-19 screening will also be in place for those leaving the country, with travelers displaying symptoms being prevented from boarding their flight and quarantined at an isolation facility until they can take a COVID-19 test.
Travelers must also present a negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter any of the country's national parks, which have reopened for both international and domestic tourism.
As of Saturday, September 12, health authorities have confirmed a total of 4534 COVID-19 cases in Rwanda, with 22 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by
local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately.
Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are
likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers
are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival
to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due
to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine
upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.