Covid-19: South Africa to reopen border crossingson February 14, 2021 at 12:52 am

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The country has been hit hard by a second wave of the outbreak linked to a new Covid variant.

Vehicles at a border crossing between South Africa and Lesotho. File photo

image copyrightAFP via Getty Images

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.

In other developments:

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

“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,” said Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

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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