Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last updated: 10/14/2021
*** 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 RT-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 cannot 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.
- 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
- U.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 approximately $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 dozens of accredited private hospitals/clinics throughout Rwanda. Rapid antigen tests cost approximately $5 (RWF 5,000). 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
- Which vaccines are available in Rwanda? Rwanda has Pfizer and Moderna 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. The payment is to be made online or by cash upon arrival. Fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to quarantine at designated quarantine hotels upon arrival, and before receiving their PCR test results. RBC will provide further details on acceptable evidence of vaccination.
– Transit passengers who are not leaving the airport 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 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.
- Is a curfew in place? Yes
Nationwide measures in place from October 14 – November 14, 2021:
- Movements are prohibited between MIDNIGHT and 4:00 AM. All businesses must close by 11:00 PM.
- Public offices will continue with essential staff at no more than 75 percent capacity. Private businesses may continue at full capacity and must comply with COVID-19 prevention measures.
- Physical conferences will continue at 50 percent of venue capacity. All participants must present negative COVID-19 test results.
- Public transport should not exceed 75 percent of seating capacity. Motorcycle taxis and bicycles are permitted to carry passengers.
- Restaurants may resume with 50 percent occupancy. Restaurants that offer outdoor seating may operate at 75 percent of venue capacity.
- Bars will continue to resume gradually. Recreation/entertainment venues will resume gradually at 50 percent capacity. Customers must be fully vaccinated and should possess COVID-19 test results taken within 72 hours. The Rwanda Development Board will provide detailed guidelines.
- Places of worship may resume with no more than 50 percent capacity.
- All guests intending to stay in hotels and other accommodation establishments must provide valid negative COVID-19 test results taken within 72 hours.
- Individual and non-contact outdoor sports are permitted. Gyms and fitness centers will continue to re-open progressively.
- Civil, religious, and traditional marriage ceremonies are permitted, but should not exceed 50 people. Events held in licensed event venues should not exceed 50 percent capacity. All guests must possess negative COVID-19 test results taken within 72 hours of the event.
- Attendance at a wake/vigil (ikiriyo) should not exceed 30 people at any one time. Funeral gatherings should not exceed 50 people.
- Tourism activities will continue in strict adherence to COVID-19 health guidelines. This includes hotels, tour operators, and transport services assisting guests.
- Tourists, including children, visiting the National Parks will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours.
- A negative RT-PCR test result is required for Volcanoes, Nyungwe, and Gishwati-Mukura National Park.
- A negative antigen rapid COVID-19 test result is accepted for Akagera National Park.
- International and domestic tourists are welcome to engage in tourism activities across the country in adherence to curfew hours. Where this is not possible, especially for tourists visiting the National Parks, a prior application for movement clearance must be submitted to Rwanda Development Board. You may contact email@example.com for more information.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes
- Fully vaccinated travelers, including U.S. citizens, are no longer required to quarantine 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 at 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 offering routine appointments to U.S. citizens. Please go to https://rw.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/ to learn about the services and how to schedule an appointment.
- The U.S. Embassy is offering reduced interview capacity in a limited number of visa categories. Please visit https://rw.usembassy.gov/visas/ to learn which visa categories we are currently processing.
- Additional information about COVID-19 in Rwanda can be found at the Rwanda Biomedical Center’s website.