Kigali sets fines for violating COVID-19 prevention measures

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The City of Kigali Thursday issued guidelines stipulating fines for people violating public health measures put in place to prevent COVID-19 spread.

The guidelines stipulate a fine of 10, 000 Rwandan francs (about 10 U.S. dollars) for not respecting social distancing and same amount for improper or not wearing of face mask.

The guidelines were issued on the same day city authorities reopened one of the major markets which had been closed for two weeks following growing coronavirus cases among vendors.

Hosting Illegal ceremonies which attract mass gatherings such as birthday parties, bridal and baby showers attracts a fine of 200,000 Rwandan francs (about 207 U.S. dollars) while visitors to such ceremonies will be fined 25,000 Rwandan francs (about 25 U.S. dollars), according to the guidelines.

 The culprits will also be held for 24 hours to undergo sensitization aimed at changing their mindsets, the guidelines showed.

For second offenders the fine will be doubled.

Declining mobile money payment system attracts a fine of 25,000 Rwandan francs (25 U.S. dollars), while businesses using in excess of 50 percent of existing employees will be fined 150,000 Rwandan francs (about 155 U.S. dollars), according to the guidelines.

In other measures, worship places holding prayers before being permitted to reopen will be fined 150,000 Rwandan francs while reopened worship places will be fined 100,000 Rwandan francs (about 104 U.S. dollars) for breaching stipulated health guidelines.

The Rwandan government last Wednesday tightened measures to be reviewed after 15 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country, following a recent spike in cases attributed to laxity among residents.

A night curfew remains in place from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, and public transport between Kigali and other districts is prohibited.

Rwandan schools remain closed as well as its land borders, except for cargo trucks and returning citizens and legal residents.

The Ministry of Health daily updates on Thursday showed Rwanda has 4,255 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 2,163 recoveries and 18 deaths.

The east African country has also recorded 16 coronavirus related deaths.

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