Fully vaccinated travelers to Rwanda are no longer required to quarantine at designated hotels while they wait for their PCR test results, the country’s government recently announced. 

In order to enter Rwanda, all travelers—vaccinated or not—must test negative for COVID-19, both upon arrival and within 72 hours of their departure. But although the local ministry of health still recommends that fully vaccinated travelers self-isolate upon arrival, they’re now permitted to skip the mandatory quarantine while awaiting their test results.

Women in royal blue skirts carrying firewood along a road beside tea plantation and rainforest in Nyungwe
All travelers to Rwanda must test negative before departure and upon arrival © Eric Lafforgue / Lonely Planet

Unvaccinated travelers and those who can’t provide proof of vaccination, on the other hand, are required to self-isolate in a designated hotel for 24 hours, until their test results come through.  

The new exemption just applies to fully vaccinated travelers and children under 18 years of age; tests are not mandated for kids under 5. PCR tests are the only kind accepted—rapid tests will not be considered. Anyone who tests positive, even if they’re asymptomatic, will be treated at their own cost, so choosing travel insurance that covers COVID-19 is a must. Travelers are also required to test negative a third time, before their departure from Rwanda. 

A pair of zebras looking at the camera in Akagera National Park, Rwanda
Unvaccinated travelers are still required to quarantine © Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock

Upon arrival in Rwanda, travelers should expect to pay US$60 for their PCR test at Kigali International Airport. All incoming visitors must also fill out a passenger locator form and upload their test and vaccine certificates before boarding their flight. 

Within the country, face masks and social distancing are required in public. Nightclubs and other forms of entertainment are open, but businesses close at 11pm and there’s a curfew in place from midnight to 4am. 

About 24% of Rwanda’s population has been vaccinated, per data from Reuters, though the Rwanda Development Board reports that 90% of those working in Rwanda’s tourism industry have been vaccinated. For more information on the country’s COVID-19 protocols and response, visit rbc.gov.rw

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