ANKARA 

Rwanda has allowed the reopening of places of worship after nearly four months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Following a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Wednesday, it was decided that places of worship “may resume services upon approval by local authorities.”

The East African country was one of the first few states in the continent to have imposed a strict lockdown.

It allowed limited movement of people, and opening of businesses including restaurants and hotels in mid-May.

A nationwide curfew from 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) to 5 a.m. (0300 GMT), however, is in still place. Gyms and schools are closed with masks and social distancing mandatory for everyone in public places.

Mass gatherings in homes and public places, and gaming activities are prohibited, whereas bars and nightclubs also remain shut.

Tourism is a major source of income for Rwanda, with visitors especially drawn toward mountain gorilla trekking, birdwatching, nature walks and hiking. Therefore, hotels have been encouraged to participate in “domestic tourism promotion” and “offer conference services” in “adherence with heath guidelines.”

These measures will be reviewed after 15 days following a health assessment, according to the prime minister’s office.

The country has registered 1,435 virus cases including four deaths and 752 recoveries thus far, according to the latest figures by Johns Hopkins University.

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