Lesotho has introduced its Orange level hard lockdown with immediate effect from midnight on Tuesday.

The Orange level is one level before an ultimate Red Lockdown where schools, churches and sale of alcohol is prohibited.

Non-essential travel has been restricted with only emergencies and essential travel allowed at the borders.

Lesotho’s new lockdown regulation is already sending panic to travellers who had decided to wait for the congestion to die down, many will be pushing to move out of the country or face being stuck for the next two weeks.

The South African rapid testing labs say it has returned at least 130 Basotho nationals who test positive for COVID-19, while no less than 150 fake PCR Certificates were detected between Maseru and Ficksburg bridge over the Christmas holidays.

Border crisis between South Africa and Lesotho:

Traffic volumes at Maseru Bridge on South Africa’s border with Lesotho have started to increase significantly. It seems many travellers are opting for an early return to South Africa to avoid congestion.

South African Home Affairs Director, Tommy Makhode, has been spending time at Maseru Bridge to ensure smooth processing and adherence to COVID-19 regulations.

Makhode says, “There were capacity delays on the side of the border. We have now beefed up the capacity. We have now opened up where one of our houses is to accommodate NLH staff to assist in terms of the travellers that are coming through to SA. We have also brought tourist monitors to ensure they prioritise women, the elderly and those that are vulnerable. But crucial is also to ensure that the borderline has patrolling so that we make sure those who do not have documentation cannot enter into the Republic.”

Traffic volumes increase at Maseru bridge