Home Youth empowerment Botswana opens economy as country emerges from state of emergency

Botswana opens economy as country emerges from state of emergency

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People line up outside a supermarket in Gaborone, capital of Botswana, April 2, 2020. Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has declared a state of emergency following the confirmation of three cases of coronavirus in that country. He also announced a lockdown starting April 2 for 28 days. (Xinhua / Tshekiso Tebalo)

Various sectors of the Botswana economy will be fully functional for the first time in 18 months as the country ends the state of emergency at midnight on Thursday.

A government communication from various ministries on Wednesday stipulated new regulations that will come into force after the end of the state of emergency. The 2020 Emergency Powers Act was enacted in April 2020 to help the government deal with the then emerging coronavirus pandemic.

According to the regulations of the updated Public Health Act, a person entering Botswana will still be required to present a negative PCR test result no more than 72 hours after leaving the country of origin at their own expense.

Wearing a mask will remain compulsory in all public places including public transport. There is no limit to the number of people in public gatherings.

Temperature control and maintaining social distancing will be required when entering public spaces.

The sport and entertainment industry will also be fully open and the organizers will be responsible for ensuring that health regulations are observed. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Youth Empowerment, Sports Development and Culture Minister Tumiso Rakgare urged sports and entertainment organizers to remain vigilant as the threat of COVID-19 remains.

Last week, other industries, including tourism and alcohol, announced plans to open after being hit hard by movement restrictions imposed during the state of emergency.

Botswana had registered 178,050 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of September 24, with 2,367 related deaths. The country is currently at level two of its immunization program targeting people aged 30 to 44. So far, 394,827 people in the country have received their first doses and 234,777 people have been fully immunized, according to data provided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Final element

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