COVID-19 Information

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COVID-19 Information

Last updated: 07/27/2021

***The State Department’s Travel Advisory level for Rwanda is Level 4: Do Not Travel.  Consular services during this period are limited.

*** Consular Operations: As of July 1, 2021, U.S. Embassy Kigali has temporarily suspended all visa services and non-emergency U.S. citizen services. U.S. citizens in Rwanda who require emergency assistance should contact the Consular Section with an explanation of their circumstances via e-mail to ACSKigali@state.gov.

*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Country-Specific Information

  • Rwanda recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 14, 2020.
  • Kigali International Airport remains open.
  • Negative PCR test results taken within 72 hours of departure are required to board a plane to Kigali.
  • Travelers departing Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before departure.
  • Masks/face coverings are required in public.
  • The Government of Rwanda has a zero-tolerance policy for exporting positive COVID-19 cases. If you test positive for COVID-19 upon arrival or during your time in Rwanda (even if you are fully vaccinated), the severity of your symptoms will determine whether you are isolated in a government-run treatment center or a hotel at your own cost. You will not be permitted to leave Rwanda until you receive a negative PCR test result, which could take several weeks from the first detection of your infection. The U.S. Embassy has no ability to pressure the Rwandan health authorities to release you from isolation or permit you to exit Rwanda until you receive a negative PCR test result. Your vaccination status does not change these protocols.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Rwanda? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
  • S. citizens should consult the Rwanda Biomedical Center’s (RBC) for information about all testing requirements, to include arrival and departure. Their website is here.
  • PCR tests can be booked online through the online platform Irembo, found here. PCR tests cost $50 (or RWF 47,200). Payment is required for U.S. citizens. Online payment is available through the scheduling website. PCR test results are generally delivered within 48 hours via text message (results only) and through the RBC’s COVID-19 Test Results Portal here. Passengers departing Rwanda are required to print out the travel certificate available through the COVID-19 Test Results Portal and hand carry them to enter the airport for departure.
  • RBC offers rapid antigen testing without appointment at 42 accredited private hospitals/clinics throughout Rwanda. Rapid antigen tests cost approximately $10 (RWF 11,000). A complete list of accredited private clinics offering this service is found here. Rapid antigen test results are available shortly after the sample is taken and are delivered in person and/or via text message.
  • For information on limited humanitarian exemptions for the COVID-19 Testing Requirement to enter the United States, please review the website here. Please note that while limited waivers are available for the U.S. Testing Requirement, they do not apply for the Government of Rwanda’s exit requirements.
  • Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when the country of departure lacks adequate COVID-19 testing capacity.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Rwanda approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
  • Are vaccines available in Rwanda for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes, but only for residents of Rwanda who meet the criteria for certain eligible groups.
  • Which vaccines are available in Rwanda? Rwanda has the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
  • Rwandan citizens and residents in the eligible groups can receive the vaccine at vaccination centers.
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
  • The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

Entry and Exit Requirements

  •  Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
  • The Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) website is the source of detailed guidance for travelers to Rwanda and is located here. U.S. citizens are encouraged to read the “Info Note for Passengers”, with the link located on the left side of RBC’s website.
  • All travelers arriving in Rwanda must complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload the negative COVID-19 test certificate before their departure to Rwanda. The Passenger Locator Form is available on the left side of RBC’s website here.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes
  • All travelers arriving in Rwanda are required to have a negative COVID-19 certificate. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV2 Real Time Polymerase (RT-PCR) performed within 72 hours prior to departure for Rwanda. All other forms of COVID-19 tests are not permitted.
  • COVID-19 testing is not required for accompanied children under 5 years old.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
  • Travelers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at Kigali International Airport. The payment for the test at the airport is $60 ($50 for the test and $10 for logistics at the airport). The payment is to be made online or by cash upon arrival.
  • All travelers are required to wait approximately 24 hours for the results of their COVID-19 test in a designated transit hotel. The Government of Rwanda has negotiated special rates at designated transit hotels for the 24-hour waiting period. A list of the designated transit hotels is here.
  • Transit passengers who are not leaving the airport, and those who will leave the airport to go to the designated transit hotels for less than 24 hours will be screened upon entry and are not required to test upon arrival.
  • Passengers arriving from or having traveled to India and/or Uganda in the preceding seven days are required to complete seven days in mandatory quarantine upon arrival at certain designated hotels (Ubumbwe Grand Hotel, Landmark Suites, Corina K. Guesthouse and Colours Club Spa & Garden Resort) at their own cost. Airlines are encouraged to check if passengers have booked seven days in a designated hotel prior to boarding.
  • If a traveler’s test result is positive for COVID-19 (even if asymptomatic or if the traveler is already vaccinated) while in Rwanda, they will be treated as indicated in the National COVID-19 Management Guidelines until they have fully recovered. All treatment is at the expense of the traveler.
  • Travelers departing Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV2 Real Time Chain Polymerase (RT-PCR) performed within 72 hours before departure. All other tests are not permitted. Travelers are encouraged to book and pay for their tests at least two days prior to departure through the online platform here.
  • All requests for visa extensions for residents and/or tourists should be addressed to the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration. Their website is here.

Movement Restrictions

  • Is a curfew in place? Yes

Measures for the City of Kigali and the Districts of Burera, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Musanze, Nyagatare, Rubavu, Rwamagana, and Rutsiro effective through Saturday, July 31:

  • Movements and visits outside the home are not permitted (lockdown) except for essential services such as healthcare, food shopping, or banking (or personnel performing such services).
  • Outdoor sports and recreational activities are prohibited.
  • Public transport is prohibited. Motorcycle taxis and bicycles are not permitted to carry passengers but may offer delivery services.
  • Offices (public and private) are closed, except for those providing essential services.
  • Businesses are closed, except for those selling food, medicine, and other approved essential items but will operate at 30 percent capacity. Businesses permitted to operate must close at 5:00 PM.
  • Arriving and departing passengers at Kigali International Airport must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure.
  • Tourism activities will continue in strict adherence to COVID-19 health guidelines. This includes hotels, tour operators, and transport services assisting guests.
  • All swimming pools and spas will remain closed except for those at hotels hosting tested guests.

The measures listed above also apply to the following sectors, in addition to the City of Kigali and eight other districts named above, from July 28 – August 10, 2021:

  1. Southern Province:
    1. Ruhango District: Sectors of Kinazi, Mbuye, Ntongwe, Ruhango, Byimana and Kinihira
    2. Muhanga District: Sectors of Shyogwe, Kiyumba, Cyeza, Nyamabuye, Rugendabari, Muhanga and Mushishiro
    3. Nyamagabe District: Sectors of Kamegeri, Kibumbwe, Gasaka and Mugano
    4. Huye District: Sectors of Tumba, Kinazi and Gishamvu
    5. Nyanza District: Sectors of Busoro, Mukingo, Kibilizi and Kigoma
    6. Nyaruguru District: Sector of Ngera
  2. Northern Province:
    1. Rulindo District: Sectors of Cyungo, Burega and Shyorongi
  3. Eastern Province:
    1. Kayonza District: Sectors of Mukarange, Mwiri, Gahini, Murundi, Rukara and Nyamirama
    2. Bugesera District: Sectors of Rilima, Juru, Nyamata Ruhuha and Shyara
    3. Gatsibo District: Sectors of Muhura, Kageyo, Remera, Kabarore and Murambi
  4. Western Province:
    1. Nyamasheke District: Sectors of Nyabitekeri, Shangi and Bushenge
    2. Rusizi District: Sectors of Nyakabuye and Gitambi
    3. Karongi District: Sector of Murambi

Measures for the areas of the country not named above, effective through Saturday, July 31:

  • Movements are prohibited between 6:00 PM and 4:00 AM. All businesses must close by 5:00 PM.
  • Movements between districts are not allowed, except for medical reasons and other essential services.
  • All social gatherings including celebrations of all kinds are prohibited, both in public and private settings. Traditional, civil, and religious weddings are prohibited.
  • Physical meetings may continue but must not exceed 30 percent of venue capacity, and negative COVID-19 results are required for all participants.
  • Restaurants and cafés may operate at 30 percent capacity and may receive clients until 5:00 PM. All bars remain closed.
  • Places of worship adhering to health guidelines may continue to operate at 30 percent capacity.
  • Attendance at wakes or vigils (ikiriyo) must not exceed 10 people at any one time. Funeral gatherings must not exceed 15 people.
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes
  • Movements between Kigali and other provinces and movements between districts across the country are prohibited except for medical reasons and other essential services. Individuals requiring movements for essential services may request movement clearance from the Rwandan authorities online here. The U.S. Embassy does not recommend attempting to move throughout the country without an approved movement clearance.
  • Travelers, including drivers, traveling to tourism entities within Kigali and other provinces and districts are required to complete and submit movement requests through the Tourism Movement Facilitation Form found here. Travelers are also required to send copies of negative COVID-19 test results to visitrwanda@rbd.rwat least 24 hours prior to the trip. More information is found here.

Quarantine Information 

  •  Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes
  • S. citizens are required to quarantine for approximately 24 hours at a designated quarantine hotel while awaiting the results of the COVID-19 test taken immediately after arrival at the airport.
  • Passengers arriving from or having traveled to India and/or Uganda in the preceding seven days are required to complete seven days in mandatory quarantine upon arrival at certain designated hotels (Ubumbwe Grand Hotel, Landmark Suites, Corina K. Guesthouse and Colours Club Spa & Garden Resort) at their own cost. Airlines are encouraged to check if passengers have booked seven days in a designated hotel prior to boarding.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
  • Is public transportation operating? No
    • Public transportation is prohibited. Motorcycle taxis and bicycles are not permitted to carry passengers but may provide delivery services.

Fines for Non-Compliance 

  • Violations of COVID-19 restrictions may face punishments ranging from fines of up to RWF 50,000 and/or up to five days in police custody (depending on the violation). 

Consular Operations

  • The U.S. Embassy is currently offering emergency services only to U.S. citizens. All routine services have been canceled.  If you require an emergency service, please e-mail ACSKigali@state.gov with an explanation of your circumstances.
  • The U.S. Embassy has temporarily suspended all visa operations. If your appointment was canceled, the Embassy will contact you directly or reschedule your appointment on your behalf when visa services resume.

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