May 1, 2020

COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: Schools Remain Closed Until September 2020

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The provincial buses park in Kigali will remain closed for another two weeks as no travel outside Kigali is allowed.

Rwanda cabinet has maintained a partial lockdown for another two weeks, with some key aspects of the country required to remain closed.

The statement from cabinet came about two hours after midnight April 30. Earlier around 9pm, the health ministry released its daily update of the positive cases, and the numbers remained grim. 18 cases have confirmed in past 24hours, raising number of active cases to 139.

Those who have recovered and gone back home are 104, including 6 yesterday. There are no deaths in Rwanda so far.

Since beginning of this week, numbers of positive cases began to unusually explode, which government says are mainly cargo trucks drivers from Tanzania. Rwanda’s neighbor to the east has refused to lockdown, and cases there are the biggest in region with many deaths. Also, Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam port is where more than 90% of Rwanda’s imports enter.

All schools will remain closed until September 2020 – making it the biggest surprise change. They have been off since March 14, and particularly for primarily and secondary schools, lessons have been ongoing on state radio and TV, and nearly all private channels.

In Rwanda, state radio reaches nearly all corners of the country, meaning lessons aired there are accessible by all students even in the remotest places.

Places of worship also remain closed for two weeks, and may open after months as they are sensitive areas of possible spread. Bars, sports places, as well as any sort of meetings or gatherings remain banned.

Kigali will remain closed from other provinces. There will be no travel by public transport from Kigali, or even private cars. Basically, no one is allowed to leave Kigali.

Motorcycle taxis, known here as Moto, and cyclists who transport people in suburbs of towns, are not allowed during the two weeks of continuation of the lockdown.

Borders remain closed except for cargo. But Rwandans outside the country can return home, on condition they will be quarantined for 14 days.

Funerals and burials are allowed, but to be attended by no more than 30 people.

Hotels and restaurants also let to open, but must close at 7pm and open the next morning. Previously, they were allowed to operate but only serve takeaway meals.

Public transport and personal cars allowed within provinces only. It means that buses and private cars in Kigali can only travel within Kigali. However, public transport vehicles are required to ensure distance between passengers and ALL MUST wear masks.

Markets to be opened, but not more than 50% of the original sellers will be allowed to operate. They will operate on a rotational basis; those who work today, will not work tomorrow.

People are allowed to leave their homes to go outside for sports. However, gyms will remain closed. It means, you can move outside and jog or stretching, but people are not allowed to jog or workout in groups.

Government employees and public sector allowed to go to work, but the entities are required to use only essential workers. The rest should remain working from home.

Factories and construction sites free to operate, but non essential staff should be left to stay home.

The extended lockdown comes into effect on Monday May 4. Until then, the country is still under TOTAL LOCKDOWN.

The biggest surprise is that schools will remain until September 2020

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