MINISTER of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), Vice President Constantine Chiwenga has announced stricter lockdown regulations effective January 5, 2021 folowing to the recent spike in Covid 19 cases in the country.
By Patson Gumbo
Addressing members of the press in Harare this Saturday evening, Dr Chiwenga said Zimbabwe has seen a surge in Covid 19 cases during the festive season and it is in line with this that stiff lockdown measures are being put in place.
In light of the recent surge in Covid 19 cases the following stiff lockdown measures are being put in place with immediate effect;
- Gatherings are reduced to not more than 30 people at all funerals. All other gatherings at weddings, churches, bars, bottle stores, gymnasiums, restaurants etc etc are banned for 30 days.
- The existing covid 19 preventive health measures will be strictly enforced that is to say correct wearing of face masks, social distancing, hand sanitization and temperature checks will be strictly enforced and offenders will be prosecuted.
- Only essential services are to remain open such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets, with only essential staff allowed to come to work. These services can only open at 8 am and must close at 3pm and will be subject to curfew that will start at 6pm and end at 6am.
- Of the other commercial services only Part 4 lockdown order services such as mining, manufacturing and agriculture will operate as before. Other commercial services specified on Part 5 of the lockdown order that is to say all formal businesses and registered informal traders are suspended from Tuesday 5 January 2021 for 30 days, “ said Dr. Chiwenga
Meanwhile intercity travelling has also been banned save for transportation of essential goods and cross border traders have also been stopped whilst air transportation has not been affected upon submission of a covid 19 free certificate. Dr. Chiwenga added that schools will remain closed and only examination classes will be open.
“5. Inter provincial and inter City transport services are restricted only to essential services and Part 4 commercial services.
- People must stay at home save for buying food and medicines or transporting sick relatives. Other exceptions are as specified in the lockdown order.
- As for schooling only examination classes are to open now.
- Cross border traders are stopped forthwith save for commercial and transit cargo related to essential and critical services.
- Air transportation remains unhindered and will continue as before with arrivals and returning residents being required to present Covid 19 free certificates. As for land access only returning residents and essential service drivers will be admitted subject to presentation of Covid 19 free certificates. These certificates must have been issued at least 48 hours before departure.
- Just to be clear, restaurants, bottle stores and bars are closed for 30 days except for bars and restaurants serving hotel residents. Also, tourist facilities and national parks will operate as before subject to the usual health precautions,” added Dr. Chiwenga.