Botswana

Directions for the Prevention of the Spread of COVID-19: 13 August 2020

Government Notice 320 of 2020

  • Published in Government Gazette no. 84 on 13 August 2020

  • Assented to on 12 August 2020
  • Commenced on 13 August 2020

  • [Up to date as at 13 August 2020]
  1. [Repealed by Directions for the Prevention of the Spread of COVID-19: 9 November 2020 (Government Notice 485 of 2020) on 9 November 2020]

The Director of Health Services hereby gives the following direction under regulation 16 (4) (c) of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations, 2020 —

1. Most effective prevention

The most effective prevention of transmission of COVID-19 is frequent hand washing with clean water and soap for at least 40 seconds.


2. Use of masks in public places

A person shall wear a cloth face mask or homemade item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth when in a public place.


3. Travel

(a)All persons coming to Botswana from high risk countries (as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO)) shall not be allowed entry into the country until further notice;(b)Issuance of Visa at Ports of entry and at all Embassies for any person from high risk areas is suspended with immediate effect until further notice;(c)Current visas of persons from high risk countries are cancelled with immediate effect until further notice;(d)International travel by all Government employees, parastatals and State owned entities is suspended with immediate effect until further notice; and(e)Travel for regional and international meetings, workshops and conferences are cancelled until further notice.


4. COVID-19 tests for inter-zonal travel

The Director may require a person who applies for an inter-zonal permit to take a COVID-19 test where the applicant —(a)is travelling from a COVID-19 high risk zone or area;(b)returns from a COVID-19 high risk zone or area to a COVID-19 low risk zone or area; or(c)transits a COVID-19 high risk zone or area.Where a person’s COVID-19 test results are positive an inter-zonal permit shall not be issued.For purposes of this paragraph "high risk zone or area" means a COVID zone or area which the Director determines has a high number of COVID-19 cases.


5. Travel across COVID zones

(a)A person shall not undertake non-essential travel;(b)A person shall not travel across COVID zones without a permit;(c)A person may only travel across COVID zones to —(i)attend a funeral of an immediate member of the family, or(ii)to access a farm, ranch, garden, ploughing field (masimo) or cattle post (moraka):Provided that the person has been issued with a permit under the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations; and(d)For purposes of paragraph (c) (i), "immediate member of the family" means a spouse, son, daughter, siblings or parent.


6. Gatherings

All public gatherings of more than 2 people are prohibited:Provided that parties shall not be held.


7. Meeting

(a)Every meeting shall have a host or convener. The host or convener of a meeting shall be responsible for the adherence to COVID-19 protocols for persons attending the meeting;(b)A meeting, workshop or conference shall have a maximum of 50 persons;(c)A person shall not travel across COVID zones for purposes of a meeting, workshop or conference; and(d)Notwithstanding paragraph (c), a convener or facilitator may apply for a permit to cross COVID zones for purposes of a meeting, workshop or conference;


8. Societies

The following societies may meet —(a)faith based organizations;(b)any club, company, partnership or association registered by the Registrar of Societies; and(c)political parties, including central committees of political parties.


9. Faith-based organisation services

Faith-based organisation services shall ­—(a)Have a maximum of 50 persons;(b)not make provision for food or allow for the sale of food; and(c)have a maximum of two religious services per week.


10. Funerals

(a)A funeral and a memorial service shall have a maximum of 50 persons; and(b)Funeral and memorial services shall not last more than 2 hours and food shall not be provided at such services:Provided that food may be provided for members of the household.


11. Cultural and traditional occasions

A maximum of 50 individuals and a distance of 1 – 2 metres shall be maintained at cultural and traditional occasions such as —(a)Go isa mafoko;(b)Patlo;(c)Magadi; or(d)Kgoroso.


12. Social distancing

A distance of 1 – 2 metres between individual persons shall be maintained in a —(a)Gathering;(b)Bank;(c)Restaurant, including take-away restaurant;(d)Supermarket and a shop;(e)Pharmacy;(f)Government service department; and(g)Memorial service.


13. General advice to the public

(a)To frequently wash hands with soap and clean water;(b)To ensure easy access to clean water and soap for hand washing at any public gathering where a maximum of 50 persons are allowed;(c)To ensure strict hand washing and surface cleaning for all equipment used during burial;(d)To clean high touch areas with disinfectants (examples of high touch areas are doors, elevators, counters, etc.);(e)To cover the nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when sneezing or coughing;(f)To avoid direct contact with anyone with cold or flu symptoms;(g)To avoid handshakes, hugs and kisses when greeting each other;(h)To ensure continued safety of other users of health facilities, individuals who have cold or flu symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat) and have had contact with returning travelers shall —(i)Call the number 16649,(ii)Not use public transport, and(iii)If using a private vehicle or on foot, alert health facility officers on arrival before entering the facility; and(i)Information from any other source other than the Director of Health Services and the World Health Organization should not be relied on by the public as credible and correct information.Government Notice No. 301 of 2020 is hereby revoked.Dr. Malaki Tshipayagae,Director of Health Services.

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