BUJUMBURA, 23 June 2021 – Burundi has reopened its land border with neighboring Tanzania at the Kobero-Kabanga and Mugina border crossings.
“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,” said Jean Bapitist Nzorironkankuze, the Permanent Secretary at Burundi’s Ministry of Public Health.
Henceforth, travelers coming acoss the border in either direction are now expected to self-quarantine at their homes or at a hotal of their choice once they get to their destination.
It is the first time Burundi has reopened its land, maritime and air borders with Tanzania since it first closed the borders last January 11 in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Kobero is considered the busiest border for trade between Burundi and Tanzania, enabling goods coming into Burundi from the Tanzanian port city of Dar es Salaam.
A week earlier, Burundi reopened its border with neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) at the Gatumba border crossing.
Burundi has so far confirmed a little over 5,000 cases of COVID-19, including 4,903 people who have fully recovered from the virus, with eight confirmed fatalities.
Burundi and Tanzania were among five countries in Africa – along with Madagascar, Eritrea and the self-declared Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) – that initially said they did not intend to import vaccines to combat the pandemic.
Tanzania and Madagascar have since publicly repudiated those positions, but Burundi is yet to officially admit that COVID-19 is a pendamic its government intends to tackle the same way most governments around the globe are doing.
Tanzania this month announced that it was joining the global vaccine distribution initiative, COVAX.
Eritrea is yet to change its mind publicly and SADR is yet to launch a mass vaccination program.