Christmas cheer returns in Botswana after 2 yrs of Covid-19 curbs

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Gaborone, Dec 31 (IANS) With giant evergreen trees, colourful balloons in the streets, and selfies in the shopping malls, Christmas cheer has returned to Botswana after two years of Covid-19-related restrictions.

The malls’ physical ambiance has been refashioned and reshaped with enchanting seasonal decor, invoking a strong look, feel and sound of Christmas cheer that was last experienced in 2019 before Covid-19 broke out in the country in March 2020.

In addition, soothing non-stop music streams through the walkways and appears to usher patrons in and out of also well-decorated stores and the food vending areas closer to the main shopping malls in this southern African country.

“This festive season saw residents being able to celebrate as we did in the pre-pandemic days,” Godisang Radisigo, Mayor of Francistown, Botswana’s second-largest city, told Xinhua on Friday in an interview.

“It is nice and refreshing to drive through the city during the night. The bright decorations and special offerings bring back pre-pandemic memories. Botswanans miss the Christmas cheer.”

In the Christmas message to the nation, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said that this festive season will be different from the previous two seasons which were characterised by Covid-19 health restrictions.

“As you all know, the restrictions have been relaxed but I must caution you that we are not out of the woods yet,” said Masisi, while urging the citizens to be vigilant against the Covid-19 pandemic.



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