International

Rwanda reopens churches after 4 months

Churches have been shut for four months

Rwanda has allowed churches to reopen but with strict conditions meant to limit the spread of coronavirus, according to a statement by the prime minister’s office.

Churches and schools were ordered shut across the country on 14 March, hours after the first case of Covid-19 was reported.

  • Churchgoers will now have to be registered at the entrance, maintain 1.5m (4.9ft) distance and must wear masks
  • Congregants must not give offerings in cash
  • Children under the age of 12 will not be allowed in.

Bishop Philippe Rukamba of the Council of Catholic Bishops in Rwanda recently told the BBC that when they were allowed to reopen “Catholic tradition order of Mass would remain the same, but the how would change”.

Rwandans online have praised the decision while others have complained that bars – which remain closed – should also be allowed to open.

Schools will remain closed until September.

Rwanda has recorded 1,435 cases of Covid-19 and four deaths.