Close to 900 people were arrested in the past two days for allegedly violating Botswana’s night curfew, the police said on Monday.President Mokgweetsi Masisi last week reintroduced a curfew as part of strict measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The curfew, effective from December 24 to January 3, runs from 7pm (1700 GMT) to 4am.
Botswana Police Service acting public relations officer Near Bagali told the state-run Daily News that 892 people were arrested on December 26 and 27 for failing to comply with set curfew restrictions.
Among the offenders were motorists, pedestrians and “those who were on unlawful gatherings, particularly chilling sessions”, Bagali said.
Those arrested are liable to fines not exceed P5,000 (about US$456) or up to six months in prison.
Bagali also noted that failure to use face masks was also a serious challenge, with 292 people arrested countrywide during the same period for allegedly not wearing masks.
“There was a tendency to disregard the COVID-19 safety measures, people continued to unlawfully congregate in large numbers and failed to wear masks or maintain social distancing measures and some only acted up when they saw police officers around,” he said.