Rwanda: Civil Weddings Permitted but Taxi-Motos, Upcountry Travel Still Banned for 15 Days

Taxi-moto operators on the road (file photo).

The cabinet on Monday, May 18, further eased the nationwide novel coronavirus lockdown but largely maintained existing measures to control the spread of the virus.

The decision came on the day Rwanda recorded five new cases of coronavirus, bringing the tally of positive cases to 297.

Out of these, 203 have since recovered after another six people recovered from the virus on Monday, leaving active cases at 94. The country has not recorded any coronavirus related death.

The cabinet maintained the curfew but reduced it by one hour, from 8p.m to 9p.m (until 5a.m), and decided that couples can now hold a civil wedding with only 15 attendees.

The new measures will run for a period of 15 days, through June.

Under the new measures which will run for 15 days until June 1, the government eased some restrictions.

In a statement released Monday evening and signed by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente, the Government also announced that inter-provincial travel (including to and out of City of Kigali) and taxi-moto transport will resume on June 1.

The following are some of the latest Covid-19 decisions:

1. Curfew extended to 9p.m

When the total lockdown was partially lifted on May 1, the Government introduced a curfew from 8p.m to 5a.m. The curfew was yesterday reduced by one hour and will now be observed between 9p.m to 5a.m.

2. Civil marriage ceremonies resume

Since late-March, social gatherings, including weddings, have been banned. Under the new guidelines, however, a civil marriage with 15 people is allowed to be carried out. But related ceremonies such as church services and receptions are not permitted.

3. Returnees will meet the cost of mandatory quarantine

The cabinet statement said that borders will remain closed, except for goods and cargo, as well as returning Rwandan citizens and legal residents.

All returnees will be subjected to mandatory quarantine in accordance with existing health guidelines at their own cost.

Quarantine services for people returning from abroad were initially free.

The quarantine normally lasts for 14 days.

4. Motorcycle taxis to resume operations on June 1

Moto taxis have been suspended from carrying passengers since the lockdown was ordered on March 21. But they are allowed to carry goods and other essential supplies. This will continue to be the case until June 1.

The cabinet also retained major coronavirus preventive measures.

For instance, schools remain closed until September, while churches and bars are still not allowed to open.

Major preventive measures such as wearing masks, keeping the required 1-metre distance between people and washing hands remain a requirement for everyone.

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