Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Rwanda extend lockdown to April 19 to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This alert affects Rwanda

This alert began 02 Apr 2020 14:20 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Apr 2020 13:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: April 19
  • Impact: Entry and travel restrictions, business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Rwanda have extended a lockdown to April 19 to stem the spread of COVID-19. Police authorities have been deployed to enforce restrictions. Citizens are to remain in their homes with exemptions for essential services such as healthcare, food, and banking activities. Officials also maintain the closure of Rwanda's borders, except for the movement of cargo and permitted entry of returning citizens and residents, subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Authorities suspended all flights to and from Kigali International Airport (KGL), the primary entry and exit point for international travelers, for at least 30 days March 20. Enhanced health screenings are underway at all ports of entry. Authorities may extend the measures in the coming weeks in response to the pandemic.

Background and Analysis
Rwanda's travel restrictions and preventive measures correspond with similar actions other governments are taking globally in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Twitter): https://twitter.com/RwandaMFA

Ministry of Health: https://moh.gov.rw

RwandAir: www.rwandair.com

World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int