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Rwanda reopens places of worship amid lockdowns

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A statement from the prime minister’s office said the places of worship may open subject to clearance by local authorities. Places of social gatherings including schools were shut across the country on March 14th, same day the country confirmed its index case.

“Worshipers will now have to undergo registration and maintain 1.5m physical distance. All congregants must wear masks, public wearing of masks is obligatory. Offerings must not be given in cash”, read the statement.

Children under the age of 12 will not be allowed in.

Schools, however, will remain closed until September. All traders for reopened businesses are required to accept digital payments as alternative form of payment. Civil marriages must not exceed 15 participants.

Borders remain closed except for exempted service or repatriations. Government announced that airspace will be reopened on August 1. Mass gatherings – public or private – are prohibited, gaming activities and bar operations remain prohibited.

The interior ministry on July 15 ordered re-imposition of a lockdown in selected areas in the south-west after a rise in coronavirus cases.

Movement restrictions were subsequently announced for Nyamasheke and Nyamagabe districts – including in a refugee camp which hosts thousands of Congolese, the BBC Africa LIVE page reported. Already areas in the capital Kigali were also put on lockdown last week due to rising cases.

Rwanda has a total of 1,435 confirmed cases, 679 active cases, and 752 recoveries. The country has recorded 4 deaths while the number of people tested countrywide is 194,802.

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