KIGALI, Rwanda 

Rwanda announced tougher measures Monday to further contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, including limiting movement to and from the capital Kigali.

Except for essential services, the new measures, which come into effect Wednesday, restrict inter-district movements as well as all social gatherings both in public and private settings, according to the minutes of a Cabinet meeting issued by the Prime Minister’s office.

Public offices will continue to operate with essential staff at no more than 15% of all employees while other employees will continue to work from home.

The measures, which will be reviewed after two weeks, also reduce curfew hours, which will start at 7 p.m. and run to 4 a.m., while businesses must close by 6 p.m.

In announcing the measures, the government appealed to the public to comply with health guidelines, including observing social distancing and wearing face masks as well as practicing hand hygiene.

The measures, triggered by a recent surge in new cases and the rate of community transmission, will be enforced with fines for any individuals and businesses not in compliance, the statement said.

However, it said that tourism activities will continue with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.

As of Sunday, Rwanda had recorded an accumulated 30,813 coronavirus cases with 26,704 recoveries and 382 deaths.

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