Lesotho reopens borders

Lesotho reopens borders

MASERU-LESOTHO was set to reopen its borders with effect from Wednesday midnight as the country loosened its Covid-19 restrictions.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro on Tuesday.

This comes two months after South Africa, Lesotho’s only neighbour, reopened its own borders.
At the time, Majoro said Lesotho, which was still reeling after a surge in Covid-19 infections during the Christmas holidays, was not ready to reopen its borders.
Majoro said international travel could now resume as long as a traveller entering Lesotho has a Covid-19 certificate issued within 72 hours.

Majoro however was quick to mention that the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over and people should continue to take care of themselves.
“The decision to relax the restrictions was reached by the cabinet on Monday,” Majoro said.
“The fight is not yet over and the country still needs to take precautionary measures,” he said.

“The infection rate is currently low and the country is under control as the number of Covid-19 patients has declined.”
“Today our patients do not exceed five in each hospital,” he said.
Also, the Covid-19 related death rate has declined to leave us with no other option but to applaud Basotho for taking care of themselves during the hardest times, he said.

Majoro thanked Basotho living in South Africa for not coming home in large numbers during the Easter holidays, which helped the country manage the infections.
“That alone contributed significantly to the curb of the spread of the disease,” he said.
Under the new loosened restrictions, the borders have been opened for people coming to Lesotho and those going out of the country.

Visitors to Lesotho will still be required to produce Covid-19 certificates, he said.
Majoro said people who would be visiting the country without the certificates would be tested at the borders.
He said political rallies can now take place with a maximum of 200 people inside a building and 500 outside.
He said the rallies should last for three hours only while alcohol remains prohibited at all gatherings.

Sporting events can also now resume with 2 500 people in the open space and 1 500 inside.
Alcohol will not be allowed at the venues.
Majoro said gyms will also be allowed to open taking in at least 300 people who would be screened before entering the place. The gyms should also be fumigated.

He said Lesotho has so far vaccinated more than 20 000 people.
“Now we are vaccinating people with high blood pressure, sugar diabetes and journalists,” he said.
He said they are expecting 100 000 vaccines from the COVAX Facility early next month.

The Prime Minister said they have also placed an order from Africa CDC at the African Union to give them a million Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
He said they are not yet sure when the orders will arrive here for Basotho to be vaccinated.
He appealed to Basotho to be careful as winter is approaching with infections expected to rise.

“Let us accept that we will use masks for a long time because they also help to combat flu among the others,” Majoro said.

Nkheli Liphoto

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