Govt okays reopening of places of worship, but with restrictions

Places of worship have been given a green light to reopen after over four months of closure, which was part of the effort to contain Covid-19.

The decision to reopen places of worship was made by a cabinet meeting held Wednesday, July 15, which stressed that they each would be reopened after an inspection to ascertain they meet the set restrictions.

 

In a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, it was noted that the Ministry of Local Government will issue guidelines to be adhered to by places of worship in this regard.

 

“Places of worship may resume services upon approval by local authorities. The Ministry of Local will issue detailed guidelines,” reads part of the statement.

 

Recently, Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) issued guidelines to be followed by places of worship before they can be allowed to reopen.

The measures are mainly aimed at maintaining physical distance among worshippers.

RGB also urged that every house of prayer must have hand sanitizers, infrared thermometers and measures to uphold the use of face masks.

Also, in the event of re-opening, said RGB, children below the age of 13 will not attend, while those aged 13 to 18 will only attend in company of a parent or guardian.

The number of congregants is also very restricted to avoid overcrowding.

On this note, the Inter-religious Council were tasked by RGB to select prayer houses that meet safety measures.

The cabinet meeting also resolved that Covid-19 preventive measures like measures the curfew between 9p.m and 5 a.m, wearing of face masks in public and social distancing among others will continue to be adhered to.

Also read: Religious organisations prepare for reopening

Bars and night clubs will also remain closed.

Update on the pandemic

On Wednesday, the country reported 19 new cases and 15 recoveries, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 1,435 against 752 recoveries.

Rwanda has since mid-March, when the first Covid-19 case was reported, conducted 194,802 Covid-19 sample tests and recorded four deaths from the pandemic.

The country has employed several measures in bid to contain Covid-19, which among others include decentralizing testing exercises and introducing random Covid-19 testing in Kigali city and its entry points to know the state of this pandemic in the city.

On Wednesday this Rwanda Biomedical Centre announced that: “The final results of drive through Covid-19 random testing at Kigali main entry points collected 3911 samples and one person tested positive.”

The first phase of this exercise had reached 1181 people who were tested at Gasabo, Kicukiro and Nyarugenge District sites, and all the samples tested negative, according to RBC.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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