Anyone entering Rwanda will now spend at least seven days in designated hotels and isolation centres at their own cost as the country begins opening up following the coronavirus lockdown.
Prior to this, the country was footing quarantine costs for new arrivals. The government has negotiated special rates with some hotels and apartments to host those arriving into the country.
In communication by the Ministry of Health on Friday, May 22, officials disclosed six facilities that will be used as quarantine centres.
Every traveler arriving in Rwanda on a flight that departs from another country must proceed to the isolation center for a minimum of seven days, where they will be required to foot the costs of accommodation, meals and other services.
“People will pay for themselves to ease on the government’s COVID-19 expenses. However, it should be noted that it is only incoming travelers that will pay for the quarantine. These payments do not apply to patients in treatment facilities and suspected cases in isolation centres all over the country,” a source in MoH told the New Times.
The government will, however, pay for those who cannot afford it.
Upon arrival into the country, all persons will be tested for COVID-19. And if found positive, they will be taken to a treatment facility with specialized medical care; and if found negative, they will be obliged to remain in mandatory quarantine for 7seven days.
On the fifth day of the quarantine, they will be tested again, and if found negative, they will be discharged on day seven.
However, those discharged will be required to continue with self-quarantine at home for a further seven days with Rwanda Biomedical Centre professionals following upon them on a daily basis.
In Kigali, institutional quarantine sites include the Nyarutarama Apartment Hotel at Rwf 55,000 [$57] per a day, Kicukiro Apartments at Rwf 55,000, Dove Hotel Rwf at 45,000 [$47], Hilltop Hotel at Rwf 40,000, Greenwich Hotel at Rwf 25,000 [$27], and IPRC Kicukiro at Rwf 12,000.
The facilities will provide full board services, guest amenities, and housekeeping. However, tenants that will be hosted at IPRC Kicukiro will be required to buy their own amenities (soap, toothpaste, brush, lotion, among others).
By Friday, May 22, Rwanda had a total of 321 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of these, 222 have recovered, while 99 are active cases.
Rwanda was the first country in Africa to impose a country-wide lockdown on March 21. For about a month and a half that followed, people were discouraged from leaving their homes, public transport was closed, and only essential businesses operated (food, fuel and pharmacies).
On May 4, there was a partial lifting of the lockdown, allowing public transport to operate under tight social distancing measures, businesses to open again, and companies to work with essential staff, among others.