A woman receives the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Kigali, Rwanda, on Aug. 23, 2021. (Photo by Cyril Ndegeya/Xinhua)
Rwanda scraps outdoor face masks wearing mandate as the country has witnessed a fall in COVID-19 infections since the beginning of 2022.
KIGALI, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The use of face masks will no longer be mandatory in outdoor spaces in Rwanda, according to a communique of the Cabinet of Rwanda.
"Wearing face masks is no longer mandatory, however, people are encouraged to wear masks indoors," said the communique issued by the Office of the Prime Minister late Friday.
The public is urged to get frequently tested while continuing to observe preventive measures.
The cabinet emphasized that citizens and Rwanda residents must be fully vaccinated in order to access public places including public transport.
Fully vaccinated means having two doses and a booster shot when eligible.
A new batch of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Chinese government arrives at Kigali International Airport in Kigali, Rwanda, Nov. 7, 2021. (Xinhua/Ji Li)
The government's decision is based on an improved COVID-19 situation whereby the country has witnessed a fall in COVID-19 infections since the beginning of 2022.
The transmission over the past seven days indicated only 59 new cases of COVID-19 infection and zero death recorded.
Rwanda is among the few countries that have been able to vaccinate more than 60 percent of its population, overcoming the vaccine hesitancy seen on the continent.
People line up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Kigali, Rwanda, on Aug. 23, 2021. (Photo by Cyril Ndegeya/Xinhua)
A total of 9,028,849 people have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines while 8,494,713 people have received the second dose as of May 13. At least 4,371,568 people had received the booster jab by Friday, according to the daily updates of the Rwandan Ministry of Health. ■