Botswana has with immediate effect relaxed Covid-19 rules that made the wearing of masks in outdoor spaces mandatory, along with other protocols as the Government pushes for increased economic activity in the wake of the global crisis.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr Chistopher Nyanga said the decision was backed by a marked decline in the disease burden and high vaccination numbers.
“The Ministry of Health informs members of the public that effective today, wearing of masks in outdoor areas will no longer be mandatory. Having reviewed the disease burden in the country and globally and most importantly, the high numbers of people vaccinated against Covid-19 in Botswana, the Government of Botswana has decided to relax some Covid-19 protocols in order to allow for more increased economic activity,” he said.
He said protocols relating to social distancing would also be optional except in schools, while isolation of patients who test positive to Covid-19 was no longer necessary unless prescribed by a health professional.
In addition, the mandatory testing of unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people at ports of entry will no longer be required except for travellers who present without a Covid-19 vaccination card or a 72 hour negative PCR test result.
“The ministry advises the public that though the disease burden has gone down in the country and globally, the disease has not yet been fully defeated.
“Precautions should still be taken to ensure safety, especially among elderly people and other vulnerable groups like those with chronic illnesses. People should use their discretion to still follow some protocols which are now optional, if they believe that doing so will safeguard their health,” said Dr Nyanga.