Rwanda starts gradual easing COVID-19 restrictions

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An once busy street is empty during a lockdown in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, July 17, 2021. The Rwandan government on Wednesday announced that movements in Kigali and eight towns will be prohibited from July 17 to July 26, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. The public are not permitted to leave home except for essential services during the lockdown. (Xinhua/Cyril Ndegeya)
An once busy street is empty during a lockdown in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, July 17, 2021. The Rwandan government on Wednesday announced that movements in Kigali and eight towns will be prohibited from July 17 to July 26, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases. The public are not permitted to leave home except for essential services during the lockdown. (Xinhua/Cyril Ndegeya)

The Rwandan government is set to resume concerts and other entertainment industries for the first time since restrictions were imposed during the first lockdown in March 2020, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office Thursday.

Concerts, festivals, exhibitions among others shall resume gradually for vaccinated and tested participants, the statement said, without giving specific date.

Rwanda eased its latest lockdown in the capital of Kigali last month, allowing restaurants to reopen and movement to districts which were not under localized lockdown.

The government has reduced the curfew time by two more hours, starting from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. within Kigali with businesses closing at 9 p.m. in a bid to further open up the economy.

The measures have, however, tightened in some eight districts of the country identified to be registering high COVID-19 infections, with curfew hours to start at 8 p.m., while businesses must close by 7 p.m. In other districts curfew will begin at 9 p.m. The new measures will take effect nationwide starting Sept. 2 to 22.

The government reminded citizens of the critical importance of complying with health protocols including physical distancing, properly wearing face masks, and hand hygiene. It also warned that penalties will be applied for non-compliance.

Rwanda last month expanded mass COVID-19 vaccinations targeting adults aged 18 years and above. The expanded vaccination came days after Rwanda received 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine along with syringes donated by the Chinese government.

More than 1.5 million people in the country have received the first dose of the vaccine while 687,111 have received both doses, according to the Ministry of Health. Enditem

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