One week grace period for lockdown exemption letters

The government has allowed companies providing essential services to use previously issued lockdown exemption letters for only seven days beginning Tuesday while they take necessary steps to have them renewed.

Zimbabwe today enters a 30-day revised intensive lockdown reminiscent of the one imposed last year on March 30 as the government seeks to control the spiralling Covid-19 infections in the country.

The country has as of 4 January 2021 recorded 15, 829 cases of coronavirus and 384 deaths.

All businesses not providing essential services have since been ordered to close while those in the critical sectors of food, health, mining and others are only permitted to operate from 8am to 3pm and be subjected to the 6pm to 6am curfew.

Both Acting President and Vice President, Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga respectively, have said security forces would be out in full force to ensure compliance.

The police who are demanding exemption letters for all entering into town, have advised members of the public to remain home unless what they want to do outside is a matter of life and death.

“Companies in the manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, retail, commerce, tourism and hospitality industry are advised to make use of the Lockdown Exemption letters previously issued by Ministries of Industry and Commerce and Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry for the next seven (7) working days, during which companies should renew their exemption letters,” the government said in a statement Monday night.

Tourism and Hospitality industry, Agriculture and Mining companies, the government said should get their exemption letters from their respective parent ministries.

“The companies should take the responsibility to comply with the Statutory Instruments and issue their employees with necessary documentation to travel to and from work,” said the government.

“In this regard, companies should give their employees individual letters which must be accompanied with the exemption letter from the respective parent ministry.”

The letter, the government said, should state employee name and ID, the points of commute so that they only travel for work, company line of business/products and state how that is covered by the Statutory Instruments, working hours, and shifts where necessary and should be signed by the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) or Managing Director (MD).

“Employees are encouraged to have a pocket size sanitiser and mask up at all times,” said the government.

“Employers are expected to assist staff with travel arrangements in order to decongest public transport.”

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