Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last updated: 04/09/2021
*** 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.
- 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. This is a change from the prior 120 hour requirement.
- Travelers departing Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours before departure. This is a change from the prior 120 hour requirement.
- 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, 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.
- 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 Irembo, found here. PCR tests cost $50 (or RWF 47,200). Payment is required for all 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 in order 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 $10. 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.
- 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 vaccinesin 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
– Rwanda Biomedical Center’s 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” available on the RBC’s website here.
– 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 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.
- 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 specific logistics at the airport). The payment is to be made online or by cash upon arrival.
– All travelers are required to wait 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.
– If a traveler’s test result is positive for COVID-19 (even if asymptomatic) 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.
- Is a curfew in place? Yes
The following nationwide measures will be in effect from March 16 – March 30, 2021:
– Movements are prohibited between 9:00 PM and 4:00 AM.
– All businesses must close by 8:00 PM.
– Restaurants and cafés shall resume with 30 percent occupancy limit and shall receive clients until 8:00 PM.
– Bars will remain closed.
– Places of worship will resume with no more than 30 percent maximum capacity.
– Private businesses will continue with essential staff at no more than 30 percent capacity. Markets and malls will continue for essential vendors and must not exceed 50 percent of registered traders. All businesses must close by 8:00 PM.
– All schools (public and private), including universities, will resume.
– Public transport (buses) should not exceed 50 percent capacity. Motorcycle taxis are permitted to carry passengers and must observe strict hygiene.
– Physical meetings may resume but must not exceed 30 percent of venue capacity. COVID-19 testing is required for meetings of more than 20 people.
– Individual and non-contact sports are permitted.
– Gyms and recreational centers will remain closed. Swimming pools and spas are closed except for those at hotels hosting tested guests.
- In the Southern Province districts of Ruhango, Nyanza, Huye, Gisagara, Nyaruga, and Nyamagabe, movements are prohibited between 7:00 PM and 4:00 AM. All measures taken in other provinces and districts in Rwanda apply in these districts in the Southern Province.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes
– Travel between Kigali and other provinces has resumed
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org least 24 hours prior to the trip. More information is found here.
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes
– U.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.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- Public transportation is permitted but must not exceed 75 percent capacity.
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).
- The U.S. Embassy is currently offering services to U.S. Citizens. For details on these services and information to make an appointment, please visit our website.
- The U.S. Embassy is in the process of a phased resumption of visa services. Please visit https://rw.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/for more details about the types of visas being processed.
- Additional information about COVID-19 in Rwanda can be found at the Rwanda Biomedical Center’s website.