Rwanda Lifts Ban On Bars After 18 Months

Bar owners all over Kigali are delighted over the partial re-opening of bars after eighteen months since they had been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In a recent cabinet meeting held three days ago, partial re-opening of bars was one of the resolutions and this was met with great joy from both bar owners as well as revelers that used to frequent these places but weren’t anymore since they had been shut down. 

Social media platform Twitter was awash with different messages from different users of the platform who expressed their joy at the re-opening of the bars and they expressed how they had missed going out and said how they could not wait for September 23, the day they were allocated to re-open. 

Taarifa on Thursday evening caught up with the proprietor of Iwacu, formerly known as Plus 250 located at Sonatube in Kicukiro and had a talk with him in regard to the news of re-opening of the bars, the impact of the closure on businesses as well as life post bar closure. 

Mugisha Eugene says that he was so glad to receive the news of the re-opening of the bars and to him, it is a life coming back. ‘’Everyone in the world, Rwanda inclusive was affected by the pandemic and seeing that bars are being re-opened, it is something very good.’’

Asked about life during the closure of bars, he had a sad tale to tell. 

’Iwacu was established in November 2019 so you can see that we had not been in business for long and after a few months, Covid came in and it was followed by the lockdown. A lot of expenses had to still be paid whether we were working or not and it was not easy,’’ 

He goes on to say that during the lockdown, online business had to be paid a lot of attention to as it was the only way they could keep up with serving their clients although it was not easy. ‘’We had to resort to different delivery services and outside catering and that way, we were able to last longer in the pandemic,’’ 

’First of all, there are some clients who are really big headed and do not want to follow the guidelines put in place such as handwashing, sanitizing, social distancing, wearing face masks appropriately but I have spoken to the security personnel here to make sure that they enforce the guidelines,’’ he said,

‘’We are also in touch with the police because we earlier had a scenario where we were once shut down by the police because our clients were not observing the SOPs and right now, we do not want the same to happen and we shall not hesitate to call the police to come pick up a client who is unruly for us to have peace,’’ he chipped in. 

As he concluded, he called upon different clients who are now returning to the bars, he reminded all that Covid-19 is still there. He asked them not to relax in the fight against the pandemic because if they do, we are bound to return to the times we have been in for the past couple of months. 

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