(Last Updated on November 29, 2021 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
KIGALI – Rwanda has ordered passengers who visited Zimbabwe and some countries in the SADC region to quarantine for seven days in the wake of Omicron, a new coronavirus variant that was detected in South Africa on the 25th of November.
The Rwanda government issued the following statement:
Announcement on Omicron Quarantine In order to contain the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant designated a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization, passengers travelling from the following countries are required to quarantine for seven (7) days at their own cost at designated hotels upon arrival in Rwanda. This measure also applies to passengers who have visited any of these countries within seven days of arrival in Rwanda.
• Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
This list will be continuously updated upon assessment of global health conditions, in consultation with the relevant international institutions.
All other arriving passengers are required to quarantine for one (1) day at their own expense in designated hotels. A Covid-19 PCR test will be conducted on arrival at own cost, and an additional PCR test, covered by the Government of Rwanda, will be administered at a designated testing site on day seven (7) after arrival in Rwanda. All arriving passengers continue to be required to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test prior to boarding.
RwandAir Bans Passengers From South Africa And Zimbabwe On Dubai Route
RwandAir has announced that it will not board passengers from South Africa and Zimbabwe travelling to Dubai due to the escalating COVID-19 variant, Omicron, that was first detected in South Africa on November 25.
The decision by the national carrier comes after the United Arab Emirates banned travellers from the Sothern African countries. RwandAir said in a statement:
Effective 29th November 2021, passengers originated from Zimbabwe and South Africa will not be allowed to enter United Arab Emirates.
The airline said that the affected passengers will be offered the option to rebook and fly at a later date with no additional cost or request for a refund.
The outbreak of Omicron, the variant identified as B.1.1.529, prompted Rwanda to reinstate a 24-hour quarantine for all the travellers entering the country while all flights to and from Southern Africa have been suspended.
Preliminary data suggest the Omicron variant may be more infectious than the Delta, and also have multiple mutations.
Omicron has been confirmed in multiple countries including South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Israel and Belgium.
Rwanda Biomedical Centre has warned Rwandans about the variant and encouraged them to continue taking COVID-19 precautionary measures.