Rwanda: Authorities rein in restaurants, hotels to enforce health rules

Friday March 05 2021

Police raided restaurants and hotels to arrest people who were violating health protocols to contain spread Covid-19. PHOTO | CYRIL NDENGEYA


The pressure to stay afloat by hotels as coronavirus pandemic continues to dampen the sector, is forcing hotels in Kigali to contravene health protocols putting them on a collision course with authorities who have already closed some for the breach.

The latest hotel to be closed for breaching coronavirus protocols is Hotel Chez Rando located at Kismenti in Remera, which was shut down for 10 days and fined up to Rwf150,000, according to authorities at the Remera sector.

The hotel was shut down after authorities established that it has been secretly selling alcohol to its customers among other breaches.

Police and other law enforcement authorities around Kigali have heightened their operations to rein in errant operators in the hospitality industry and their customers who breach the protocols in place.

Bars or hotels are not supposed to sell alcoholic drinks, but some businesses have devised ways of beating directive.

Until February 23, restaurants were outlawed from sitting customers in their premises, after it was observed that people infected with the virus ended up breaking quarantine and going to restaurants and other places ending up infecting other people in the process.


The restaurants that ended up flaunting the directives ended up facing closures and other punitive measures.

Police also recently arrested one Aileth Gakwaya, the owner of Glads Apartments, and closed down the place for flaunting the protocols in place, after she was caught offering sauna services to 16 customers, something she had been doing for some time.

According to police, she claimed that she did not know that Covid-19 can be transmitted when people are in Sauna.

"I admit that I violated the directives but I thought that people in Sauna cannot infect others. We have not been operating everyday but once in a while we open to clients," Gakwaya told police Some 129 people were arrested in different Kigali on February 13, in police operations that targeted bars and other businesses flouting the national Covid-19 prevention guidelines.

The violators were found in four bars as well as those who had organized a party at home while others were found in Sauna and massage.

In the Gatsata sector, 28 people were arrested in Kilimanjaro bar, 19 in Zebra Guest House and Bar while nine were found at Shukuru Hospitality.