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Omicron: Zimbabwe tightens Covid-19 response measures

Zimbabwe has with immediate effect tightened its Covid-19 response measures following the recent detection of a new variant – Omicron – in neighbouring South Africa and Botswana and other parts of the world, posing a threat of a potential third wave of the pandemic.

The new measures announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, in a televised address to the nation Tuesday night include among other things, the mandatory testing and quarantining of all persons entering the country, curfew from 9 pm to 6 am, ban on the consumption of alcohol from bottle stores and reduced business hours.

“With immediate effect, the following measures will now apply: All returning residents and visitors have to undergo PCR testing, and will be quarantined, at own cost, for days recommended by WHO, even if they present a negative PCR test results from elsewhere,” said Mnangagwa

“A daily Curfew, running from 9 pm to 6 am, will be imposed to limit movement and hence transmission. Only essential services categories announced in previous gazettes stand exempt. All shops will open for business from 0700 hours and will close for business by 1900 Hours.”

President Mnangagwa said the number and behaviour of all persons attending any gathering must observe and comply with WHO protocols such as masking, social distancing and sanitising.

“All Covid-19 related funerals will strictly be supervised by Ministry of Health and Child Care Environmental Health Officers and Technicians,” he explained

“No liquor will be consumed at bottle stores, which consequently cease to be drinking premises until further notice. Night Clubs and bars will admit Vaccinated clients only. Restaurants are required to close at 1900 hours.”

He urged all those eligible for Covid-19 vaccination to do so while reiterating that G individuals and communities should continue adhering to all the recommended Covid-19 protocols

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