Botswana: Summary of Ammendments to COVID 19 Regulations to Be Considered By Parliament On Wednesday

An empty street is seen during a nationwide lockdown, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, in Botswana.

1. From 30th April midnight until 7th May midnight:

The same conditions will continue to apply except that from that time until the end of the State of Emergency any person in a public place should wear a mask or face covering which covers their nose and mouth.

2. From 8th May until 20th May at midnight:

Permits still needed (except for students travelling within a Covid 19 zone).

A trade/business or school may operate where they have satisfied the Director or anyone authorised by him of its ability to provide clean water for washing hands/ hand sanitizer, observing 2metres social distancing etc., checking body temps, regular disinfecting, upon direction by the Director, closing the premises/school due to a suspected or confirmed Covid 19 case by someone who has accessed the premises.

Also, trades and businesses will be subject to guidelines issued by ministry of trade regarding phased openings of businesses and operational capacity of a business.

Also a person in the care of school children shall as far as practicably possible, ensure that children are covered with a face mask home made item etc.

In terms of opening schools, ministry of education are looking and will decide on the date, but this is subject to conditions relating to readiness of schools to comply with the conditions stated above.

Please note that the date of opening of schools does not preclude heads/teachers being allowed to go in to prepare, beforehand and does not necessarily means that schools will be open for students in May.

Also note, the date of school openings is not by any means being taken lightly and various aspects are being carefully considered.

Ministry of Education have developed guidelines and these will be looked at with the Director so that decisions can be taken going forward. Some of these decisions include less holidays so as to catch up with the required school days, etc, phased openings of classes etc.

The following will remain closed: all liquor outlets and the importation and sale of cigarettes.

As for hair/beauty parlours and gyms, there will be guidelines developed by the ministry of trade to state what the limitations will be.

Provisions limiting the gatherings of persons will therefore not apply to trades/businesses or schools

One will be able to travel across villages/towns/districts to attend the funeral of an immediate family member (spouse, son, daughter, sibling or parent) or to access a farm, ranch, garden, ploughing field or cattle post but one will need a permit to do so.

3. From 21st May until end of the SoE, no permits required. They will only be required when persons are travelling across Covid 19 zones (these are set out). But one cannot travel across zones for non essential travel.

5. Where HE is satisfied, based on evidence submitted by the director, that the covid risks have increased or decreased, he can increase or decrease restrictions by a notice published in the Gazette.

6. Borders remain closed. But where one is quarantined upon returning into Botswana, they may be required to pay for the costs of their quarantine.

7. A person testing positive for Covid 19 who hasn't recovered shall not be an essential service provider, shall not transport essential supplies or should travel or visit any place unless he has completed his isolation or quarantine and has been certified as fit to be safe to leave.

8. Restaurants will operate as takeaways until further notice, but they can open at 8am instead of 10am, till 8pm.

9. Many of the restrictions which were set out in the law will be able to be eased or increased by the director issuing a notice, rather than needing to amend the law.

10. Ministry of Finance will be allowed to defer the self assessment tax payable under the income tax during the SoE.

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