South Africa reopens its 20 border crossings

 Monday, February 15, 2021 

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South Africa says it will on Monday reopen 20 of its land border crossings that were shut last month to try to stop the spread of Covid-19 infections. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting on Saturday.

South Africa has been hit hard by a second wave of the outbreak linked to a new variant of the disease.

It has recorded almost 1.5 million infections and more than 47,000 Covid-related deaths – by far the highest toll in Africa. Globally, more than 108 million cases have been confirmed since the start of the outbreak late in 2019, with nearly 2.3 million deaths, according to America’s Johns Hopkins University. Poland confirmed that a strain of coronavirus detected at a mink fur farm in the north of the country could spread to humans, raising prospects of a cull similar to that in Denmark.

On Saturday, the government announced that borders with Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini would be opened.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said that the active and orderly management of people through our borders is an important part of the country’s overall risk adjusted approach to control the spread of Covid-19.

But the minister warned that all those wanting to cross the borders must produce proof of negative Covid tests taken recently. Mr Motsoaledi said he would personally visit the four busiest crossings to observe the processing of travellers.

South Africa shut its borders with neighbouring countries on 11 January after the new variant of Covid-19 was detected. A number of countries have since banned all travel to and from South Africa.

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