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Government issues new COVID-19 guidelines for selected hotels, restaurants in Kigali

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The Government of Rwanda has issued new COVID-19 guidelines for selected, frequently visited five-star hotels and 11 restaurants in Kigali city.

According to a joint statement signed yesterday by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Ministry of Health, the Government has established new health and safety measures to mitigate the pandemic following the recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

As of newly established measures, all staff in selected hotels and restaurants and all clients visiting these establishments are required to present a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or Antigen rapid test).

Tests must be taken within 7 days for visiting clients and 14 days for staff while testing can be done at designated sites at own cost.

As per new guidelines, accredited private clinics with partner hotels may arrange on-site testing in an appropriate room available at the hotel.

Only trained medical personnel staff from accredited clinics will be allowed to conduct the tests and results that must be uploaded into the national health management information system.

All clients are required to present the results at the hotel, restaurant entrance to a designated staff who must scan the QR code on the clients’ certificate and access the RBC app to confirm authenticity. Clients may also be requested to present their identity cards for verification of test results.

Hotels concerned with new guidelines include Kigali Marriott Hotel, Radisson Blu & Kigali Convention Center Hotel, Kigali Serena Hotel and The Retreat Hotel.

Selected restaurants are; The Retreat Restaurant, Choose Kigali Restaurant, Meza Malonga Restaurant, Brachetto Restaurant, Soy Restaurant, Nyurah Restaurant, Inka Steak House, The Hut Restaurant, Epicurien Restaurant, Poivre Noir Restaurant, Repub Lounge and Kury Kingdom Restaurant.

Issued guidelines indicate that these hotels and restaurants will report status on staff testing to RDB and RBC every two weeks. They are also required to give notice of the exact number of people that can be hosted in various outlets and meeting rooms equivalent to 30% occupancy while clients who do not have a valid test result will be denied access to the hotel or restaurant.

The statement also reads that outdoor dining and events are encouraged where feasible as they present less risk for the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Participants are however encouraged to continue adhering to COVID-19 preventive measures.

Other hotels and restaurants not mentioned on the list will be subject to randomized sample testing undertaken by RBC for both their clients and staff.

The Ministry of Local Government, RDB, RBC, and Rwanda National Police will ensure enforcement of these new measures to take effect from Friday 18th June 2021.

Speaking to RBA; the Deputy CEO of RDB Zephanie Niyonkuru explained that the decision was reached after consultations with other relevant institutions.

He said that the list might be updated depending on further assessments.

“The list will be revised every two weeks. We have started with frequently visited hospitality establishments but RBC will also conduct random testing to other hotels and restaurants to assess status of the pandemic,” he revealed.

The country has been recording surge in new COVID-19 cases for the past few days confirming over 200 positive test results every day.

This prompted the Government to revise existing measures countrywide and placed Rubavu district under lockdown yesterday. Other sectors considered major hotspots for new cases in Rutsiro, Gicumbi and Nyagatare were subjected to revised curfew hours from 9 p.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice.

Rwanda confirmed the first Coronavirus case on 14th March 2020. Since then, 29 175 people have been tested positive of whom 26 383 recovered, 2416 are active cases, 11 are critically ill while 376 have succumbed to the virus.

A total of 389,832 people have been vaccinated since Rwanda began countrywide inoculation program.

Coronavirus symptoms include coughing, flu, and difficulty in breathing. The virus is said to be transmitted through the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract.

Rwandans are urged to adhere to COVID-19 health guidelines, washing hands frequently using soaps and safe water, wearing face masks and respecting social distancing.

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