If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you will not need to quarantine on arrival in Rwanda.
Cabinet on Wednesday endorsed the new change, which essentially makes it a first globally.
The existing system has been that before you begin your journey to Rwanda, you had to fill up a Passenger Locator Form. Additionally, you had to book a hotel where you will spend 24hours as you wait for your COVID-19 results of the $60 test done on arrival at the airport.
There was a list of designated hotels ranging from $30 to the top-end hotels. You chose what fit your budget.
At the Kigali International Airport, you found a vehicle dispatched by your booked hotel. The exit control is so strict you will not be allowed out unless they have proved you have a booked hotel.
The hotel car took you direct to the hotel, where you are not allowed to leave your room. Any service you desire is brought to your room.
The standard time for results to return has been about 6hours. Once your results came in and you were negative, you can choose to leave or stay to finish up the entire 24hours you paid for the room.
Those who are positive, depending on their condition, will either be taken to an isolation facility, or will be taken to their home by government medics for self isolation.
Now, with the new changes approved Wednesday by Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame, arriving passengers with negative PCR test results will not need to go to a hotel for quarantine. They will go home or hotel (for visitors) to wait for their results.
In other words, as long as you are fully vaccinated you no longer need to book hotel before you come to Rwanda. Just book your flight, have negative PCR test result, and come to Rwanda. You can start looking for where to stay after you have moved out of the airport. You may be able to find a more desirable place, than what the government has been requiring.
People leaving Rwanda will continue to be required to present negative PCR test results.
Another change is curfew time has been moved to midnight, but businesses will be required to close at 11pm.
Businesses have also been let to operate at full capacity, meaning there will be no need for the controlled entry into restaurants or any other facilities.
The new changes are another of those signs that the authorities are preparing for full opening of the country.
Government’s own data shows vaccinations have reached over 1.7 people who have been fully vaccinated, with at least 100,000 getting jabs daily.
Infections have also dropped to less than 100 daily, most of whom are asymptomatic – meaning they don’t need hospitalisation.
By removing quarantine for arriving passengers, it could suggest that data collected over the months from arriving fully vaccinated travellers may have showed there were very minor positive cases.
It therefore indicates the global vaccinations and personal protective measures in place, may be working to cut infections.