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Rwanda reinstates 24-hour quarantine for all foreign visitors over COVID-19 variant

Buses wait at the Nyabugogo Bus Park in Kigali, Rwanda. March 11, 2020 (PHOTO /File)

KIGALI – Rwanda will reinstate a mandatory 24-hour quarantine for all visitors arriving from Nov. 28 after the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant, its health ministry said on Friday.

“Following confirmation of a serious new #COVID19 variant detected in Southern Africa, @RwandaHealth is reinstating the obligatory 24-hour quarantine in designated hotels for all persons arriving into Rwanda, effective Sunday … at noon,” it said on its Twitter account. Those who quarantine will do so at their own expense, it added.

The requirement will go back into effect on Nov. 28 as part of Rwanda’s effort to contain the newly-discovered Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Other pandemic-related directives remain largely unchanged through at least Dec. 14.

Domestic Measures

A nationwide 00:00-04:00 curfew remains in effect with all businesses being required to close at 23:00.

Public transport is operating at full capacity for seated passengers and at 50 percent capacity for standing passengers.

Restaurants and cafes may operate indoor seating at 50 percent capacity and outdoor seating at 75 percent capacity.

Meetings and other events such as concerts, festivals, weddings, or funerals, are permitted under strict health guidelines; participants may be required to undergo testing or present proof of vaccination.

Private businesses may operate at full capacity under health guidelines while public offices remain restricted to operating at 75 percent capacity.

Authorities continue to allow tourism activity subject to health-related protocols. Gyms and fitness centers are open.

International Travel Restrictions

All departing passengers must present a negative PCR test result in order to leave Rwanda.

All arriving international travelers must complete the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before entering the country and undergo PCR testing for COVID-19 upon arrival.

Passengers arriving at or departing from Kigali International Airport (KGL) must present a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure; arriving individuals must upload the result with the PLF.

All travelers arriving or transiting for up to 12 hours will be tested on arrival and pay USD 60 for expenses.

Entry via land borders remains restricted to returning Rwandan citizens and legal residents; permitted land arrivals are subject to similar entry requirements.

Authorities typically review and update the nation’s COVID-19 measures on a bi-monthly basis.

Advice

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements.

Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance.

Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.

Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

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