Rwanda: Schools to Reopen Gradually, Night-Time Curfew Eased

26 September 2020

A cabinet meeting held on Friday, September 25 among others resolved that schools will resume in the coming weeks, after over 6 months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the meeting emphasized that the reopening will be a gradual process.

"Schools will resume with a gradual reopening in the coming weeks based on levels of education. A detailed reopening schedule and readiness assessment will be conducted and communicated by the Ministry of Education," reads parts of the minutes.

Since March, in-person classroom sessions are prohibited in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Only some international schools and a few universities had adopted online learning.

The decision to reopen schools gradually comes as the country has been recording fewer infections for weeks now.

Curfew eased

Other major changes from the meeting include pushing the night-time curfew to 10 p.m. through 5 a.m., a time at which movements are prohibited.

Previously, the curfew would begin at 9 p.m. and end at 5 a.m.

Mandatory Covid-19 tests for social gatherings removed

Covid-19 tests are no longer required for social gathering including weddings with fewer than 30 guests, reads parts of the cabinet resolutions.

Also, the government resolved that participants in meetings and conferences will no longer be required to show proof of Covid-19 tests.

The mandatory Covid-19 tests for social gatherings had raised concerns by sections of people including civil society organizations lamenting the high cost of these tests especially during the pandemic period where many people have been financially hit hard.

However, according to cabinet resolutions, the public is still encouraged to take advantage of Covid-19 voluntary testing facilities as a preventive measure.

Event organizers are also urged to comply with health guidelines and must not exceed 30 percent of venue capacity.

Public transport between Kigali and provinces resume

Other key resolutions that took immediate effect include the resumption of public transport between Kigali and other provinces.

The movements in public transport had been halted in the prevention of Covid-19 spread, as Kigali for the last couple of months has been the leading hotspot of the pandemic.

Public transport to and from Rusizi district, Western Province, shall also resume.

Greenlight to bicycle taxis

The government resolved that bicycle taxis will resume in permitted areas of operation, in accordance with Covid-19 preventive measures.

Some of the precautionary to be adhered to by both the bicycle taxi riders and passengers include the wearing of facemasks.

The transport means had been on halt since mid-March, few days after the pandemic was confirmed in Rwanda.

All resolutions are expected to be reviewed after 15 days upon a health assessment.

So far, Rwanda has confirmed a total of 4,798 Covid-19 cases, of whom 3,080 have already recovered.

The country's Covid-19 death toll stands at 29 people.

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