GABORONE, March 30 (Xinhua) — Botswana government on Tuesday started to restrict movement of people between COVID-19 zones with immediate effect as a way to curb the spread of the pandemic in the coming Easter Holidays.
A communique from the Presidential COVID-19 Taskforce said only essential workers executing their duties and in possession of valid permits will be allowed to move between zones as from Tuesday.
The country was demarcated into zones last year after recording the first case of the novel coronavirus to monitor movement of people between zones. Since then individuals need to apply for online permits to be able to move across zones.
The Tuesday communique also alerted members of the public who are in possession of valid inter-zonal permits that the permits are invalidated with immediate effects and they have to apply for a one-way permit to return to their bases.
Botswana goes to Easter Holidays on Friday and as usual, most people are expected to go to holiday destinations or visit their families and friends around the country. However, the holiday comes at the time when the country continues to register its highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths.
The country had managed to keep the number of new infections and deaths moderately low for most of 2020, but realized a spike in cases in the New Year following the Christmas holiday period. Health officials believe the decision to loosen up travel restrictions during the holidays contributed to the spike in new cases and deaths.
Meanwhile, the Parliament on Tuesday voted for the extension of State of Public Emergency by a further six months. Enditem