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Covid-19 vaccine mandates for all outboundn travelers

Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) has announced a mandatory Covid-19 vaccine for all Rwandan travelers departing from the country's points of exit.

According to a statement issued through RBC's twitter handle, all outbound eligible passengers will be asked to present a Covid-19 vaccination certificate.

"All Rwandan travelers eligible for Covid-19 vaccine (12 years old and above) departing from Rwanda must be fully vaccinated," read the statement.

However, the info note for passengers arriving to Rwanda, which was updated on January 2, did not mandate the vaccine for incoming travelers, though they were encouraged to.

They were only mandated for a PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to their departure with an exception of children under 5 years of age, according to RBC.

Meanwhile, in the bid to ease the burden on Rwandans travelling home for holidays, RBC had introduced a subsidy on the PCR test, where they will be charged Rwf30,000.

According to the info note, all arriving passengers will also test, quarantine for 3 days, and leave the quarantine after the negative PCR and rapid test, the latter being free of charge.

Thanks to the current end of year holidays, the government has also subsidized the cost of Covid-19 tests to allow Rwandan citizens coming back to spend the holidays with their families.

"For the mandatory PCR tests taken upon arrival and on Day 3 of quarantine, Rwandan citizens will pay Rwf40,000 instead of Rwf57,200 for each test, meanwhile, for the test on Day 7, Rwandan citizens will pay Rwf 30,000 instead of Rwf47,200 for each test," read the communique issued.

Since the confirmation of the highly contagious variant, Omicron on Rwandan soil, the government embarked on stringent measures to curb the virus.

These include the extension of curfew hours to 10 PM and suspension of house parties, concerts and related forms of public celebrations.

On the other side, Rwanda's vaccination trend is among the commendable ones in Africa.

[Source: By Bertrand Byishimo, The New Times, Rwanda, 05Jan22]

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