Ahead of the festive season, the Rwandan government has eased operating restrictions for bars, nightclubs, and entertainment venues, marking a significant shift just in time for the festive period.
The restrictions, which were originally implemented in September address concerns about “noise pollution” and public disturbance. These restrictions on “non-essential services” had reaped disapproval, especially from hotel, restaurant, and nightclub owners who faced shortened operating hours.
The Rwanda Development Board, a state-run entity, has declared a reprieve. Between December 15 and January 17, bars are permitted to extend their operational hours until 02:00 (local time), with the added benefit of lifted restrictions on Fridays, weekends, and public holidays.
In a statement released on Thursday, the board expressed its desire for people to revel in the festive season: “The end of the year festive season has begun, and the government of Rwanda wants people to celebrate and enjoy.” Notably, these revised guidelines encompass private events as well.
Despite this relaxation, the board has issued a stern warning against violations, emphasising the need for establishments to adhere to noise pollution regulations.
According to the measures instituted in September, sound levels in commercial areas are restricted to 55 decibels during the night. As Rwanda ushers in the holiday spirit, the government encourages celebration while ensuring compliance with necessary safeguards.