Rwanda cancels direct flights to S.Africa over new Covid variant

East-Central African country Rwanda has temporarily revoked direct flights to and from southern African countries due to concerns over the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, according to a cabinet communique issued by the Office of the Prime Minister.

According to sources, the decision was made late Sunday during an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Rwanda's response to the Omicron variant, which was chaired by President Paul Kagame. "While the variant has not been detected in Rwanda, its effects are potentially dangerous," according to the statement. "As a result, Rwandans and residents of Rwanda must follow extreme attention in the practise and implementation of preventative measures."

A week-long quarantine at own cost will be mandated for passengers travelling from, or those with a recent history of travelling to, the affected countries, it said. It further said that all arriving travellers must quarantine for 24 hours at their own expense at a chosen hotel.

According to the statement, a Covid PCR test will be performed at the client's expense upon arrival, and an additional test will be performed at a specified testing centre on day seven from the date of arrival, which will be funded by the Rwandan government. The statement mentioned that everyone attending events or gatherings, such as conferences, concerts, weddings, festivals, or exhibitions, must be completely vaccinated and tested.

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