Rwanda reinstates mandatory quarantine to limit new COVID-19 variant

Rwanda will reintroduce the mandatory 24-hour quarantine for incoming travellers following the detection of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa starting on Sunday, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Following confirmation of the new COVID-19 variant in South Africa, the Ministry of Health is reinstating the obligatory 24-hour quarantine in designated hotels for all persons arriving in Rwanda effective from Nov. 28 noon, the statement issued on Friday said.

The measures are being taken to limit the spread of the new variant and to protect the gains Rwanda has made so far in managing the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening of the economy, it added.

The ministry called on all including vaccinated people to continue to strictly observe COVID-19 preventive measures including the proper wearing of face masks, social distancing, hand washing, ensuring maximum ventilation in indoor spaces, and avoiding crowds, crowded spaces and unnecessary social gatherings.

Speaking earlier on Rwanda Television, Rwandan Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said additional measures will be announced in the coming days as scientists carry out tests to determine whether the mutation is more transmissible or infectious than other variants.

Last month, Rwanda had removed quarantine measures for people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 after arriving in the country.