Rwanda reopens gyms as it eases Covid-19 measures

Thursday May 06 2021
Rwanda vaccine.

Community health workers line up to receive Covid-19 vaccine at Kirehe Health Center, in Rwanda's Eastern Province. PHOTO | COURTESY | RWANDA BROADCASTING AGENCY

By Ange Iliza

Rwanda has reopened gyms after almost 14 months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, however swimming pools and beauty spas remain closed.

A cabinet meeting presided over by President Paul Kagame on Wednesday also revised the curfew hours to 10pm-4am from the initial 9pm-4am.

Other approved changes include increasing the number attendants at civil and religious weddings and funerals from 20 to 30 people and allowing public transport vehicles to operate at 75 percent capacity, instead of the initial 50 percent. 

Restaurants and cafes are permitted to operate until 9pm instead of initial 8pm, while churches will only host 50 percent of their capacity while private companies will operate with only essential workers. Bars and public pools remain closed.

The changes in Covid-19 measures come at a time when some parts of the country have been recording high numbers of daily infections. The cabinet resolved more stringent measures for districts of Nyanza, Huye, Gisagara, Nyaruguru and Nyamagabe by prohibiting movement between 7pm and 4am. The above districts account for more than half of the daily Covid-19 infections recorded. 

Passengers arriving in Rwanda from India will complete a mandatory seven-day quarantine at a designated place in the capital Kigali while other arrivals will present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken not later than 72 hours prior to departure. 


The above resolutions are to take effect on May 6.

Resolutions regarding Covid-19 measures in Rwanda are revised every 15 days. 

As of May 5, some 25,421 people have tested positive for the virus and 93 percent of them have recovered, while the death toll was 338. The positivity rate stood at 2 percent. 

While Rwanda continues to contain the virus, it remains uncertain when thousands of people who received their first Covid-19 vaccine dose of AstraZeneca will get the second jab. The vaccine doses should be administered 8-12 weeks apart. 

The Serum Institute of India that was supplying the vaccine doses via Covax Facility announced in April that vaccine deliveries will be paused as the country battles its new wave of Covid-19 vaccine. Rwanda Biomedical Center says it could take up to three months before the second dose is available. 

Rwanda plans to vaccinate 60 percent of its 12 million population by June 2022. So far, 350,352 people have received the Covid-19 vaccine.