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Botswana warns against traveling during Christmas holiday season

GABORONE, (The Southern African Times) – Botswana’s health authorities on Monday warned the public to avoid non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the upcoming Christmas holiday season.

This year’s festive season will be different due to the pandemic, a communique from the Presidential Task Force for COVID-19 said, calling for the public to take responsibility by avoiding visiting the elderly who are at a high risk of developing severe symptoms once infected.

People who take private cars to visit their loved ones should consider a two-week self-isolation before departure, while those using public transport should quarantine themselves for two weeks after arrival.

The public was further advised to avoid visiting other households to prevent possible virus transmission.

The warning came a day before the country reopened its borders for public travel since a cessation of non-essential cross-border travel at the end of March.

Travelers are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours and the returning citizens who spent more than a day in a foreign country are required to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine upon return.

Botswana has registered 9,252 local cases and 1,490 cases at its borders so far, Mosepele Mosepele, the deputy coordinator of the presidential COVID-19 taskforce team, said on Monday evening when addressing the nation.

The country’s COVID-19 death toll has reached 34, said Mosepele, adding that a total of 422,359 tests have been conducted.

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