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To curb the spread of COVID-19, Rwanda’s commercial motorists, commonly known as motorcycle taxis, are required to adopt cashless payment services after they resume operation on June 1, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) said here Wednesday.

“All motorcyclists in the capital Kigali are required to use meters and cashless payments. However, those outside the capital in provinces will start using meters at a later date but are required to use cashless payments instead of hand-to-hand cash exchange,” the regulator said in a statement.

Operators and passengers have been advised to use mobile money to receive and send payments, it said, adding that both riders and passengers are required to carry hand sanitizers to disinfect their hands and helmets before any trip.

It also asked motorcycle taxis and passengers to wear face masks at all times and passengers who can afford helmets to use their own helmets. According to the RURA, riders must observe social distancing when parking their motorcycles, and failure to comply with COVID-19 preventive directives would be disciplined.

The Rwandan Health Ministry said Tuesday that it has conducted tests on commercial motorcyclists for COVID-19 in preparation for their resumption of operation. Commercial motorcyclists, on whom many commuters rely in Rwanda, are allowed to carry goods and offer delivery services under the existing measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, but are banned from carrying passengers.

As of Wednesday evening, Rwanda has reported a total of 346 confirmed COVID-19 cases with zero death and 245 recoveries.

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