Rwanda plans to reopen bars as government eases COVID-19 restrictions

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Photo taken on Aug. 8, 2021 shows empty streets during curfew hours in downtown Kigali, Rwanda. A night curfew has been imposed in Rwanda as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)
Photo taken on Aug. 8, 2021 shows empty streets during curfew hours in downtown Kigali, Rwanda. A night curfew has been imposed in Rwanda as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)

The Rwandan cabinet on Tuesday evening announced plans to reopen bars after over a year of suspension due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Rwandan cabinet said bars will resume gradually and the ministry of trade and industry and the Rwanda Development Board will provide detailed guidelines.

Rwandan bars and night clubs have been closed since March last year.

With the COVID-19 infection rate showing gradual signs of decline, movements will be prohibited between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. within the capital Kigali with businesses closing at 10 p.m., said a cabinet communique issued by Office of the Prime Minister.

Public and private offices will continue with essential staff at no more than 75 percent capacity, and all schools across the country have re-opened.

According to the cabinet, restaurants and cafes shall continue to operate, with a 50 percent occupancy limit. However, those with outdoor seating space may operate at 75 percent venue capacity.

Places of worship will continue with 30 percent maximum occupancy.

Civil, religious, and traditional marriage ceremonies are allowed to take place. However, events in homes should not exceed 50 people.

Those marriage events held in designated venues including outdoors tents should not exceed 50 percent venue capacity. All wedding guests must possess a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before the event and should comply with COVID-19 preventive measures.

The cabinet also allowed gaming activities, gyms, and fitness centers to resume gradually with guidance from the ministry of trade and industry, and ministry of sports respectively.

The new measures will take effect nationwide starting from Sept. 23 to Oct. 13.

On Tuesday, Rwanda reported 264 new COVID-19 cases, five recoveries and six deaths. Enditem

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