A total of 15 selected hotels and restaurants have been given permission to work with accredited private clinics in testing staff and visiting clients for Covid-19 at their premises. The decision, which takes effect on Friday, June 18, is part of the new guidelines announced Wednesday by Rwanda Development Board (RDB), which were developed to ensure a safe and conducive environment in frequently visited hotels and restaurants. The development follows a recent spike in new Covid-19 infections, which officials have described as worrying numbers. Under the new guidelines, tests must be taken within seven days for visiting clients and every after two weeks for staff. While they can be done at designated private clinics, RDB said that “Accredited private clinics with partner hotels can arrange on-site testing,” adding, “An appropriate room shall be availed at the hotel for testing.” To ensure quality services, however, the statement noted that only trained medical personnel will be allowed to conduct the tests. Every two weeks, concerned hotels will be asked to report the Covid-19 status of their staff. Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants are required to give notice of the exact number of people they can host at ago, which is equivalent to 30 per cent of their capacity. Also encouraged are outdoor dining events as they present less risk for the spread of the virus. Besides the 15 selected establishments, other hotels and restaurants will be subject to randomized sample testing undertaken by Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) for both clients and staff. Over the last week, Rwanda witnessed an eruption in daily new Covid-19 cases following months of relatively low numbers. According to Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, RBC Director-General, the rate of new infections has massively increased by 245 per cent while the death rate has also gone up by 24 per cent. This, he warned, called for more vigilance among the public, especially to those who continue to recklessly violate the pandemic protocols. As of Wednesday, June 16, Rwanda had recorded 29,175 total cases among which 376 patients have lost the battle. Nationwide vaccination campaign continues with at least more than 5 per cent of the country’s population expected to be vaccinated by the end of this month.