Extended lockdown: Exemption letters still a requirement

The government has said exemption letters which allow citizens especially those employed in the essential services sectors to travel to and from work are still a requirement during the extended Level 4 lockdown.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday extended the Covid-19 induced lockdown by a further two weeks to the end of February citing high active coronavirus cases and deaths.

He however relaxed some of the measures which include the reviewing of business operating hours to run from 8am to 5pm while the curfew now starts at 8pm and ends at 5am.

The President said essential services remained functional while the informal sector would only resume operations after satisfying WHO guidelines.

The courts, he said, will only deal with urgent matters, adding no one would be allowed in the gallery.

“The Ministry of Health and Child Care will increase testing,” said the President.

“All private companies seeking resumption of operations should test their employees in compliance with WHO protocols.”

He urged Zimbabweans to stay home, wear masks correctly, use sanitisers and keep physical distance.

Responding to requests for clarifications from parliamentarians on whether exemption letters were still required for one to be allowed passage at road blocks under the reviewed lockdown measures, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Kazembe Kazembe said nothing had changed.

“Yes, those letters are still a requirement because the lockdown was announced and was very clear,” he said.

“The restrictions still remain.  Only those who provide essential services are allowed.  Therefore, they are supposed to provide proof in the form of letters.  For the company to get that letter, they have to be authorised by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce again by way of a letter.  So yes, those letters are still a requirement until the level four lockdown is lifted.”

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