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The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has issued new guidelines for Tourism, Hospitality, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE).

The new guidelines follow a cabinet meeting held on September 1, 2021 on measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a document digitally signed by RDB Deputy Managing Director Zephanie Niyonkuru, a number of guidelines may rekindle the hopes of a number of entrepreneurs in this battered tourism sector.

Among the guidelines; social gatherings such as concerts, festivals and exhibitions have been given the green light to resume gradually for participants under strict measures such as all organizers and service providers having vaccination certificate and negative chain reaction test by real-time polymerase or Covid 19 rapid antigen performed 72 hours before the particular event.

According to RDB, all events should be held at 30% of the venue capacity for those held indoors, while 50% capacity for those held outdoors.

All participants in these events are also required to respect the physical distance of one meter and to properly wear their face masks at all times during the event.

It was also resolved that all event planners should request permission for events that include concerts, exhibitions and festivals at least 10 days before the event by contacting the Rwanda Convention Bureau.

Live performances are permitted at designated event venues and host facilities and performers must ensure they are vaccinated and must have valid negative RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Covid-19 test results taken in the last 72 hours.

Social distancing of one meter must be respected as well as the correct wearing of face masks at all times.

Conferences and physical meetings have been allowed to continue with only 30% of site capacity and all attendees must present valid negative RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Covid-19 test results taken within the past 72 hours.

Meanwhile, hotels, restaurants and cafes will resume serving customers at 30% capacity for those inside and 50% capacity for those outside and customers are encouraged to get vaccinated and undergo regular testing for Covid-19.

The hospitality industry and other accommodation establishments are required to ensure that their staff are tested for Covid-19 every 14 days.

Tourists, including children visiting the country’s national parks, will be required to show negative Covid-19 tests taken within the past 72 hours. However, an RT-PCR test is required for those visiting Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Gishwati-Mukura National Parks while a negative Rapid Antigen Covid-19 test result is accepted for Akagera National Park.

International and domestic tourists are now invited to engage in tourist activities across the country in compliance with curfew times and when this is not possible, especially for tourists visiting national parks, a request prior authorization of movement must be submitted to the Rwanda Development Board. to ensure a smooth experience while respecting the Covid-19 guidelines.

In addition, hotels and restaurants are encouraged to continue to provide on-site Covid-19 testing facilities for customers who may require the service. In this regard, the Rwanda Biomedical Center will be responsible for providing the required technical support.

All residents planning to stay in hotels and other accommodation facilities provide valid negative Covid-19 test results within 72 hours. To the delight, swimming pools and massage services in tourist establishments are now open to resident and non-resident customers subject to presenting a vaccination certificate and negative Covid-19 tests carried out in the last 72 hours.

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