Rwanda to relax travel ban as COVID-19 hits economy hard

Monday, May 4th, 2020 11:43 |
A person disinfects a cross-border truck from Tanzania in Kirehe district, eastern Rwanda, April 30, 2020. (Xinhua/Cyril Ndegeya)

Rwanda said that it will relax its full-day travel ban from May 4 as a way to revive its economy hit hard by the novel coronavirus.

"Our economy has been hit already and we are looking at mobilizing resources to inject into our economic system so that it returns to normal," Rwandan President Paul Kagame said on Monday.

The projected economic growth for this year has been downgraded to an estimated 3.5 percent, Kagame added.

From next week, the movement of individuals will only be prohibited from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, according to a statement released by the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday.

Businesses can resume with necessary workers from next week, and markets can reopen for essential vendors not exceeding 50 percent of registered traders, said the statement.

Besides, hotels and restaurants will be permitted to run by 7 p.m. local time, and individual outdoor sporting activities will also be allowed next week, it said, adding that people should wear masks "in public at all times.

However, cross-province transportation will still be banned, and the country's borders will not be open, it said.

Rwanda, which imposed a strict lockdown on March 21, has reported 243 COVID-19 cases with 104 recoveries as of Thursday evening. (Xinhua)
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