2022 Covid19 Updates in Rwanda: Despite the outbreak of the Corona virus in 2019, Rwanda is still receiving quite a large number of tourists visiting its national park, especially for gorilla trekking safaris in Volcanoes National Park. In addition to this, Nyungwe forest national park has recorded a number of visiting for chimpanzee trekking tours and the canopy walk.
2022 Covid19 Updates in Rwanda.
Following the Ministry of Health’s confirmation of the Covid-19 Omicron variant in Rwanda, identified through genomic sequencing of samples collected from travelers and their contacts, please take note of the following updated information for arrival and departure from Rwanda, effective 02 January 2022:
- Flights between Rwanda and Southern Africa have been reintroduced.
- All visitors to Rwanda must obtain a negative Covid-19 certificate. A SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) done within 72 hours of departure is the only acceptable test (meaning travelers must be tested and get results within 3 days of their first flight). Other types of examinations, such as Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs), are not recognized. The COVID-19 test is not required for accompanying children under the age of five. Incoming tourists who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination (aged 12 and up) are recommended to be completely vaccinated before to travel.
- All arriving travellers must quarantine for three days at their own expense at a selected hotel. Upon arrival, a Covid-19 PCR test will be performed. On Day 3, persons will be released from quarantine based on the findings of the Antigen Quick Test and the PCR Test; people will be freed from quarantine based on the results of the rapid tests, according to national criteria. The rapid test will be provided at no cost.
- At the airport, the payment for the Covid-19 test will be made in the amount of 60 USD (50 USD for the Covid-19 test and 10 USD for specific airport logistics) in accordance with the instructions on the passenger locator form. If passengers want to pay in cash upon arrival, the balance will be supplied in local currency (FRW). If a passenger does not utilize the payment methods specified on the passenger locator form, he or she may be compelled to pay again upon arrival and demand a refund for any earlier payments made.
In order to make it easier for Rwandan people to test for Covid-19 and know their status, particularly Rwandans coming home for the holidays, the Rwandan government will subsidize the cost of Covid-19 testing as follows:
- Rwandan nationals would pay Rwf 40,000 or 40 USD for the obligatory RT-PCR tests done upon arrival and on Day 3 of quarantine, rather than the present cost of Rwf 57,200 for each test.
- Rwandan nationals will pay Rwf 30,000 or $30 USD for the required RT-PCR test on Day 7, as opposed to the present cost of Rwf 47,200 for each test.
- All arriving tourists must pay for both necessary RT-PCR arrival tests and Day 3 quarantine at Kigali International Airport, although sample collection for Day 3 testing will take place at the assigned accommodation. The PCR test on Day 7 will be performed at the expense of the individual at specified testing centres.
- Before leaving for the airport, all travelers coming or transiting in Rwanda must complete the passenger locator form and submit the Covid-19 PCR test certificate. Please consult rbc.gov.rw for a passenger locator form and a list of certified transit motels.
- All visitors transiting Rwanda for more than 12 hours will be examined upon entrance and given a second Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival. Samples will be collected at the airport upon arrival, and passengers will be held at the designated transit hotel while the results are awaited. The Covid-19 Test Findings for travelers who have been in transit for more than 12 hours will be expedited so that passengers can get the results before their next departure.
- All travelers transiting/connecting who are not leaving the airport for less than 12 hours will be screened upon entry and not required to take a second test (This is not applicable for transiting passengers by land border, in that case, passengers will be tested using RT-PCR Test and waiting for the results from the designated transit hotels before proceeding).
The Rwandan government has negotiated special tariffs at specified transit hotels for the three-day quarantine period. If a visitor wishes to stay at the hotel after completing three days of quarantine and having negative test results, they may do so at the hotel’s standard prices.
When you arrive at the hotel, the procedure is as follows:
- Test results will be checked on the RBC website of the covid-19 results portal using the phone number entered while filling out the Passenger Locator Form and the Unique code received when submitting the Passenger Locator Form prior to departures, or by SMS and/or email, with a 24-hour turnaround time from the time a sample is collected. If the findings are not available after 24 hours, please call the hotel reception or the RBC Medical Team on Duty at the Airport: (+250) 781415724 for prompt follow-up.
- If a traveler’s COVID-19 test result is positive (even if asymptomatic) while in Rwanda, they shall be treated at their own expense in accordance with the National Covid-19 Management Guidelines until they have fully recovered
For travelers departing Rwanda, the procedure is as follows:
- All tourists leaving Rwanda must be COVID-19-negative. A SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) done within 72 hours of departure is the only acceptable test. The Rwanda Biomedical Center/National Reference Laboratory, Provincial or District Hospitals must perform the PCR test.
Other types of examinations, such as Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs), are not recognized. The COVID-19 test is not required for accompanying children under the age of five. We recommend that passengers book and pay for their tests at least two days before departure using the online platform available at www.rbc.gov.rw. It is recommended that travelers consult with airlines about the COVID-19 criteria of their ultimate destination and/or transit countries. All Rwandans who are eligible (aged 12 and up) for the Covid-19 vaccination and are leaving Rwanda must be completely immunized.
- Travelers are not permitted to enter the airport until they have received negative COVID-19 PCR test results. If the results have not been received within the 48-hour period specified above, please call the BIOS LAB HELP DESK at (+250) 787243836 or (+250) 788793446.
- If a traveler’s COVID-19 test results are positive (even if asymptomatic) while in Rwanda, they shall be treated at their own expense in accordance with the National Covid-19 Management Guidelines until they have fully recovered. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase international travel insurance.
In summary; tourism in Rwanda is open for all tourists as long as you follow the above guidelines that have been set by the Government of Rwanda. There are a number interesting activities that you can do during your visit to Rwanda such as; golden monkey tracking and gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park, canopy walk and chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe Forest national park, as well as game drives in Akagera national park.