Gaborone — As government continues to implement protocols for curbing the spread of COVID-19, more restrictive measures will be put in place should the need arise.
This was revealed by Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Ms Peggy Serame during a press conference to update the nation on government's response to the pandemic.
Giving an example of regulations on the sale of alcohol introduced last week, the minister said due to challenges of enforcement and compliance, a decision had been taken to suspend the sale of alcohol for 30 days with effect from tomorrow.
The suspension would be reviewed at the end of the 30-day period, she said.
Ms Serame said restaurants were now to operate as takeaways between 10am and 8pm.
"There are also a number of areas that we thought we need to close such as gymnasiums, hair salons and amusement parks and all places of gambling with effect from Saturday," she added.
Minister Serame said the decisions were not taken lightly adding that government would continue to monitor the situation and implement more measures as dictated by the situation.
On another issue, she said government was pleased with the partnerships it had established with different stakeholders.
She said retailers had agreed to maintain prices of essential commodities to the levels prior to the outbreak unless there were circumstances beyond control.
"Retailers have agreed to maintain prices unless they have been increased from suppliers. They have also agreed to contribute in kind and monetary terms to assist government to source some necessities," she said.
She said some from the private sector had pledged hotel rooms free of charge to serve as quarantines.
Minister Serame said goods would continue to flow into Botswana revealing that talks were ongoing with her South African counterpart to ensure the country did not suffer.
"We have obligations under SACU and SADC and as it requires, our borders will be open for goods and services to flow into Botswana. We will experience delays because we are putting in a number of new protocols and sometimes it takes a lot of time to get used to new protocols," she said.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>