At around 5 pm on the evening of Friday, February 25, KG 18 Avenue one of Kigalis most entertainment hotspots located at Gisimenti, was closed to motorized traffic for the very first time. This was in line with a recent directive by the City of Kigali to allow the bars and eateries on this street to expand their seating area outdoors for the convenience of their revellers. Immediately the road was closed, businesses around the area started setting tables out on the road and the human traffic in the area kept increasing as dusk set in. In their small groups, one could notice how excited everyone was and how the crowd kept growing hour to hour. The revellers were diverse in age while families shared drinks and food, mainly the popular delicacy, the brochette. Others, mainly the youth were taking pictures not to let this historical moment go unrecorded. According to city authorities, this street will be closed to cars every week during evenings from Friday to Sunday. The car free zone at Gisimenti comes after restaurants at Biryogo were allowed to set up tables in the beautified streets only for dining to encourage more open- air activity and avoid more closed spaces during this time of covid- 19 pandemic. With the help of traffic police officers, no one was allowed to cross in the car free zone or park on the road and they made sure it was followed. Dana Manzi, a 24-year-old while waiting for her friends, said that the car free zone came at the right time. People have been busy working through out the week, it is a great and open place to come to relax and get ones mind off work as well as life’s problems for a while and meet people, she said. The same applies to Didier Shyaka who couldn’t hide his excitement. This is so much better and safe compared to being inside a bar because there is enough space for everyone here. I thank the government for coming up with such a great idea. Like this”, he said. However, a manager at Rosty Bar and Restaurant who only identified himself as Zablon, said that the first day of the car free zone didn’t go well because they received a few clients compared to other days. He was however hopeful that the traffic would increase after the first day because many people are still visiting and moving around places. He also noted that if the curfew gets extended beyond midnight, it would be much better as many people enjoy coming to bars at late hours. Another bar manager who wanted to remain anonymous said the first day was not a good experience. “There is too much chaos and noise all over the place. We pay a lot of money to rent the bars but now we are fighting with other bars over space for our tables and we have lost many clients who don’t like noisy and crowded places, says the manager. However it is not the same case for Patrick Niyigena, a waiter at Bahamas Bar who said that the number of clients they used to have had drastically increased. “Today we are very busy because everything has changed and it feels like a festival. Many people have been spending much time in their homes due to Covid but now they were given a chance to enjoy and have a good time with their loved ones in an open space without having to pay for Covid tests. I am curious to see how it will be like after a week, he said. Talking to Eric Iryoyavuze, a youth volunteer at Red Sky Bar and Resto, who was there to ensure revellers respect Covid19 measures, said that even in open setting, other measures against the pandemic must be followed. He noted that on the first day of the car free zone people had tried to cope with the covid restrictions and those who don’t were reminded to do so. At a half past eight, a heavy rain made most of the people move from outside to find shelter, however as soon as it stopped raining they went back outside as they were crowed in the bars due to the big number of people who were outside. Besides bars and restaurants, there are other businesses that line on the same street including hair salons, bakeries and liquor stores among others.