Botswana tightens COVID-19 restrictions

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana has tightened COVID-19 restrictions for amid fears that cases of the virus are spreading across the southern African country, an official said on Wednesday.

In a notice, government spokesman Andrew Sesinyi said President Mokgweetsi Masisi, has in accordance with the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations of 2020 “and on evidence submitted to him by the Director of Health Services that the risks posed by COVID-19 have increased in Botswana, varied the restriction on movement from the 23rd March 2021 to the 31st March 2021.”

“The restriction on movement of persons shall continue to apply from 2000 hours (1800 GMT) to 0400 hours daily,” Sesinyi said.

Masisi had earlier this month relaxed curfew conditions so that it ran from 10pm to 4am the next morning.

According to Sesinyi, anyone wishing to move around during curfew hours would be required to carry a movement permit showing that they work in sectors designated as providing essential services.

He said all gatherings are suspended from 23-31 March, except for Cabinet, National Assembly and National Task Force on COVID-19 meetings.

Funerals are limited to a total of 50 persons and should not exceed two hours, while religious gatherings “may be held on any two days of the week, for less than two hours and the number of persons attending a service shall not exceed 50.”

Wedding celebrations are suspended, while restaurants are only allowed to operate at half capacity for on-site dining, with a maximum of 50 persons (excluding staff) at any given time.

Sports and recreational activities are suspended, except in instances where a national team sport activity is involved, in which case the matches would be played in empty stadia, the official said.

With a population of just over two million, Botswana has so far recorded more than 37,500 COVID-19 cases and 485 deaths since April last year.

Like most other southern African countries, there are fears that the infections could spike in coming weeks as the region enters winter months.


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