Bots opens borders to public transport

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Gaborone - Botswana will allow movement of cross-border passenger transport starting December 1.

Transport and Communications Minister Thulagano Segokgo said the government would reopen Tlokweng, Ramatlabama and Martins Drift (South Africa); Kazungula (Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe); Mamuno  (Namibia); and Ramokgwebana  (Zimbabwe).

Minister Segokgo said, “The government has taken a decision to permit the movement of cross border passenger transport. This will commence on December 1, 2020. It will primarily affect a number of borders.”

He said bus operators would have to ensure vehicles were disinfected regularly, and passengers must present valid negative test results from within 72 hours of travel as well as wear face masks throughout their journey.

“I must emphasise that we still need to exercise all the necessary caution and follow the protocols that have been developed by health officials towards the prevention of the COVID-19 infections,” Minister Segokgo said. “Bus operators will have to keep a register of all passengers while food sales will be prohibited. All vehicles will have to observe the proper loading capacity. There will be no drink or beverages sold throughout the trip. This is also towards the prevention of the disease.”

Department of Road Transport and Safety deputy director Mr Godwin Tlhogo said bus operators should ensure all paperwork was in order.

“It is the responsibility of operators to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are adhered to. If protocols are not observed, operators could be fined,” he said.

The decision to relax cross-border transport operations comes after Botswana allowed chartered international flights to enter the country for the first time in November since it imposed restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the virus in April this year. 

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