September 2, 2021

Showbiz, Gaming Industries Get Government Reprieve to Reopen As Anticipated

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Local duo Charly & Nina thrill revellers at concert before COVID-19. Though they have since gone separate ways, we can begin to hope we will see then in coming days

The last time a public concert took place in Rwanda was in February last year. The nearly 2m vaccinated people can begin to prepare for fan – the country is beginning to slowly open up.

Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame has this Wednesday announced a relaxation of sectors that had never opened since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged early last year.

In our analysis published a few days ago, we gave evidence which suggested government was in the process of opening up some crucial aspects of the heavily battered economy.

ALSO READ: ‘We Are Fully Opening Soon’: Behind The Evolving Government Messaging on COVID-19

All indications over the past months show the economy was on its knees. Unemployment may be such a big problem the government even stopped releasing the monthly jobs figures it had been doing before COVID.

For the showbiz industry, the impact was all out there to be seen. We have documented the impact. The industry employed thousands.

ALSO READ: Biggest Losers: The Showbiz We Knew May Never Return

The cabinet said in its post-meeting communiqué that concerts, festivals, exhibitions and other fan gatherings will open. However, cabinet indicated they could only open for those who have been vaccinated.

Gaming facilities, where hundreds of people were usually gathered at all times of day, will also reopen. Throughout the past days, social media users have been pleading for the industry, which government may have noticed.

Also, another significant change is that the night curfew has gone back to 10pm till 4am, after many months. However, all businesses are required to closed at 9pm, perhaps to leave aside an hour for everyone to get home – a tactic that has been employed to avoid having to arrest anyone for them to sleep in the stadiums.

The bars, though, have been kept closed. There is no sign they will ever open anytime soon. The alcohol production sector, however, is making a killing with profits out of the roof as people drink daily from home.

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