The Rwandan Government has asked the government of the United Kingdom (UK) to provide an explanation following its recent decision to ban all travelers from Rwanda to prevent the spread of new Covid-19 variants that are emerging.The move, according to the UK was in response to new evidence showing “the likely spread of a coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa,” according to a notice seen by APA on Monday.
Earlier this week, Grant Shapps, UK’s Secretary of State for Transport announced that his country had added Rwanda, Burundi and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to its travel ban red list with effect from Friday, January 29.
“This means people who have been in or transited through these countries (Rwanda, Burundi and UAE) will be denied entry, except British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights who must self-isolate for ten days at home,” Mr Shapps posted on his Twitter account.
The decision also meant that direct flights between Rwanda and the UK were banned.
A statement from the UK government added that any exemptions usually in place will not apply, including for business travel.
Reacting to the new ban, the Rwandan government questioned the UK’s decision, saying that the sparse information communicated in regard to the travel ban does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.
“Rwanda’s overall response to Covid-19 including testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting has been consistent, transparent and corroborated by third party entities,” reads part of the statement issued in Kigali.
In addition, the government argued that “Rwanda did not join in the widespread bans on travelers from the UK in December 2020 over the variant discovered in parts of the UK.”
“Rwanda is one of the few countries that require a PCR Covid-19 test for all departing passengers and all those in transit,” the statement said.