By Ndahiro Herbert, First Secretary, Embassy of Rwanda in The Netherlands.
With nearly to 5 months after the Government of Rwanda stopped all in coming and outbound flights as part of the measures to stop the spread of the New Coronavirus, Rwanda is now gearing up to reopening her airports from 1 August 2020 to commercial flights according to Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA).
In a statement issued by Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure on 6 June, several measures shall be adhered to safeguard the health of passengers, crew and staff including (i) all passengers, including those in transit, will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 PCR negative test, taken within 72 hours of entering the country and (ii) all passengers entering the country will be subject to a second PCR test, while staying at designated hotels at their own cost, with results out within 24 hours.
Other measures in place include hand sanitizers, physical distancing markings, disinfection of the airport and equipment, airport staff well trained on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, and comprehensive guidelines to ensure safe operations.
In addition, Rwanda has deployed smart anti-epidemic robots at the airport to help in taking temperatures of arriving and departing passengers within the airports.
The reopening on 1st August comes following the first phase of 17th June 2020 where Rwanda Airports authority opened up to private and chartered flights. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is expected to resume flight operations to Kigali on 6th August after, the airline had halted intercontinental operations due to the pandemic.