Nightclub owners and DJs optimistic as government reopens dance floors | The new times

Nightclub owners, as well as local DJs, have welcomed the government’s latest directive giving the green light for the reopening of dance floors in the country.

A statement issued on February 3 by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) says nightclub managers will need to apply for permission to reopen, and those approved will operate at 50% capacity, within permitted opening hours, according to the press release.

The same statement gave the go-ahead to popular bands and concerts.

Party-goers at all of these events must present a negative Covid-19 certificate taken within 72 hours and must be fully vaccinated, he said.

In addition to this, all nightclub workers must be tested for Covid-19 every 14 days and fully vaccinated as eligible staff receive the booster.

Divine Iradukunda, a renowned female DJ known as DJ Ira, said it was an opportunity to get back to business and revive her pockets, as the closure of nightclubs has brought tough financial challenges.

George Gacheru, owner of the Sky Lounge located in Gisimenti in Remera, welcomed the permission to reopen nightclubs and said the problem remains that the Covid test is compulsory, which could keep more people away. of customers.

To address this, Gacheru said he plans to offer a discount to revelers.

Alex Ndahiro, better known as DJ Alex, said the impact of the suspension of nightclubs has been heavy on DJs in Kigali, but some have managed to find alternatives to generate income.

“Two years on the road without a job while you depend on it, it was tough. Life in Kigali is expensive. Some have returned to rural areas. Others, however, found alternatives by creating jobs with their other skills like graphic design, and some also went back to school,” he said.

He went on to say that there will be creative changes in working conditions, however, he finds that established hours of operation will present barriers to what a nightclub is essentially.

“It’s a nightclub. Even the name says it’s supposed to be at night, so closing at 11 p.m. cuts down on our shift.

Eugene Habimana, also known as Cobra, the owner of Cocobean bar and nightclub, said it was a good move to revive the economy, but notes there won’t be much change since customers are chased away but Covid-19 preventive measures, including the mandatory test carried out within 72 hours.

He said the option is to keep operating and serving those who will be willing to comply while waiting for others to change their minds as well.

RDB has urged entertainment avenues to verify the authenticity of Covid-19 tests and certificates as it plans to impose penalties on non-compliant establishments.

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