South Africa reopens its land borders as virus cases decline

JOHANNESBURG (AP) –

South Africa has reopened its major land borders with neighboring countries after closing them last month to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

At least 20 border posts reopened Monday, with officials saying steps will be taken to avoid tightly-packed crowds of travelers gathering at the immigration posts which would spread the virus.

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who is to inspect the reopening of the Lebombo border post with Mozambique on Monday, said South Africa is working with neighboring countries to ensure simpler movements of people.

Other border posts to be reopened include the Beitbridge border post with Zimbabwe and crossing points with Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland).

Before the borders were closed in January, there were reports of problems at the immigration offices, including travelers using fake COVID-19 tests.

“We appeal to travelers to ensure that they have all the requisite travel documents, including valid COVID-19 tests, when they

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