Thursday, May 23News That Matters

Rwanda To Resume Commercial Flights Despite COVID-19 Lockdown

By Elite News Reporter

The government of Rwanda has announced a lift of the ban on commercial flights following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown that was announced by President Paul Kagame in March this year.

The Ministry of Infrastructure (Mininfra) on Saturday, July 4 announced that Rwanda will reopen airport operations for scheduled commercial flights on August 1, 2020.

The move follows months of restricted passenger flights since May 18, as a means to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement from Mininfra, several measures shall be adhered to in order to safeguard the health of passengers, crew and staff.

“Rwanda’s airports will reopen for scheduled commercial flight operations on August 1, 2020. To ensure the safety and health of passengers, crews and staff, airport operations will adhere to guidelines developed by the Ministry of Health and recommendations of the ICAO Council on Aviation Recovery Task Force,” reads part of the statement.

The Task Force aims at identifying and recommending strategic priorities and policies for States and industry operators in regards to responding to the serious impact being felt across the international civil aviation sector as a result of COVID-19.

Mininfra also noted that: “All passengers, including those in transit, will be required to show proof of a Covid-19 PCR negative test from a certified laboratory, taken within 72 hours of arriving in Rwanda.”

For passengers entering Rwanda, the statement adds, a second PCR test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered within 24 hours.

According to the Ministry, during the 24 hours of waiting for test results, passengers will remain in designated hotels at their own cost.

Recently, Rwanda also gave a green light to chartered flights in a bid to ensure recovery of the tourism sector that is among the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently issued a series of recommendations which they say could help the aviation sector as it plans to restart passenger flights amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The roadmap aimed at providing the confidence that governments will need to enable the reopening of borders to passenger travel, and the confidence that travellers will need to return to flying.

IATA among others stressed the essence of observing preventive measures against the spread of this pandemic, from temperature screening at entry points, to maintaining physical distancing, sanitization of touch objects, and avail hygiene products onboard and at airports.

Additionally, IATA advised that health declarations and robust contact tracing may be undertaken by governments to reduce the risk of imported chains of transmission.

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