By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) – Authorities in Rwanda on Thursday announced new guidelines stipulating fines for people violating health measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

People will be fined 10,000 Rwandan francs (about $10) for not observing social distancing rules or not wearing face masks.

The violators will also be held for 24 hours to undergo sensitization aimed at changing their mindsets, the guidelines said. For second-time offenders, the fine will be doubled.

Hosting mass gatherings for events such as birthday parties or bridal and baby showers will lead to a fine of 200,000 Rwandan francs (about $207).

People who attend these events will be liable to pay 25,000 Rwandan francs ($25).

Private businesses using more than 50% of existing employees will be fined 150,000 Rwandan francs (about $155).

Places of worship that reopen without permission will be fined 150,000 Rwandan francs (about $155), while those allowed to reopen will have to pay 100,000 Rwandan francs (about $104) if safety rules are breached.

Last week, the Rwandan government announced tighter measures will be enforced across the country, as cases have recently spiked and stand at 4,218, including 16 deaths and 2,130 recoveries.

A night curfew will be enforced for the next 15 days from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time (1700GMT to 0300GMT), and public transport between the capital Kigali and other districts will be suspended.

Schools across the country remain closed, while Rwanda’s land borders are only open to cargo trucks, returning citizens, and legal residents.

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