Burundi reopens borders with Tanzania, suspends mandatory quarantine

President Evariste Ndayishimiye

Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye.

Photo credit: Tchandrou Nitanga | AFP

Burundi on Monday reopened its Kobero-Kabanga and Mugina borders with Tanzania, which were closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Quarantine for all travellers, and all mandatory quarantines countrywide now have been suspended but the travellers are expected to self-quarantine at their homes or a hotel of their choice for 24 hours waiting test results through their e-mails,” said Jean Baptiste Nzorironkankuze, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Public Health.

“The border of Kobero and Mugina is now open for travellers and they will have to test for Covid-19 as well before continuing their travels,” he added.

Kobero is the busiest border for Burundi which many traders use as the central corridor to import or export goods to and from Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam port.

Burundi announced the closure of its maritime and land borders on January 11 this year after the country recorded its highest number of Covid-19 cases in 48 hours.

Early this year the government imposed more strict measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, which included mass testing, social distancing, and the closure of night clubs countrywide.

Burundi recently reopened its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Gatumba.

In the last 28 days (from May 16 to June 12, 2021), a total of 679 Covid-19 cases were recorded out of 40,849 tests conducted in the country, according to the Health ministry. 535 cases are local transmission (78.79 pc) while 144 cases are imported (21.21 pc).

Since the first case was reported in the country, Burundi has recorded a total of 5,026 positive cases of coronavirus out of 339,919 people tested. Five cases detected in Burundi were returned to Tanzania for medical treatment.

Some 4,903 people have recovered from the virus, while the country has recorded eight deaths.