By Banabasi Kamusime
All travelers intending to access the Rwandan capital of Kigali via Cyanika border in Kisoro district will have to do a PCR test for Covid 19 before being allowed to cross over.
The development was announced yesterday, hours after the border between Uganda and Rwanda at Cyanika was fully reopened to the public.
Persons from Uganda who are interested in visiting the neighboring districts of Ruhengeri and Musanze will be required to carry out a Rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for Covid at no cost.
Travelers seeking to go further into Rwanda including the capital, Kigali will have to do a PCR test before being granted permission to proceed with their travel plans.
Health sources say, the cost of a PCR test is 85,000 Ugandan shillings (approximately $24)
Sison Mugisha, a senior medical officer in the office of the District Health Office (DHO) says the mandatory PCR tests are being conducted at a private laboratory in Bunagana in Kisoro district.
According to Mugisha, the tests are in line with the health standards of both countries and are necessary to ensure Covid-19 is not spread.
Kisoro district has not recorded any positive case for Covid-19 in the last one month.
He further stressed that the Covid tests are a requirement for both countries therefore no one will be able to cross over without doing the tests.
Close sources revealed that a RDT test on the Rwandan side goes for 5000 Rwandan francs, which is approximately 18,000 Ugandan shillings.
The cost of a PCR test in Rwanda was not readily established.
Recently, Uganda amended Covid-19 travel protocols and removed specific requirements for arrivals from high- risk countries.
Kisoro district LCV chairperson Abel Bizimana says, it is necessary to follow the regulations at Cyanika Border because many lives are still at stake due to Covid-19.
He commended high level Government players on the Ugandan and Rwandan side whose talks have yielded complete reopening of the border at Cyanika.
Kisoro deputy Resident District Commissioner Dan Ndikumwami says, Ugandans must be mindful of their personal security and report suspicious acts especially illegal entries into the country.
He called on business community at the border with Rwanda to always have correct documentation that is recognized by both countries to avoid any complications.