Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Rwanda extend stay-at-home order to at least April 30 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Severe disruptions likely.

This alert affects Rwanda

This alert began 18 Apr 2020 10:29 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 30
  • Impact: Entry and travel restrictions, business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Rwanda have extended a stay-at-home order to April 30 in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the order was to expire April 19. Citizens are to remain in their homes, with exemptions for essential services such as healthcare, food, and banking activities. Security forces have deployed to enforce the measure.

Previously enacted restrictions in Rwanda include:

  • Rwanda's border crossings remain closed, except for the movement of cargo and permitted entry of returning citizens and residents, subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
  • Officials continue to suspend all flights to and from Kigali International Airport (KGL), with the exception of cargo and emergency flights. Enhanced health screenings are underway at all ports of entry.


Authorities may introduce further restrictive measures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic with little warning in the coming weeks.

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