Schools to open 7 February, mandatory quarantine lifted

Schools can reopen on February 7, 2022, giving both school administrators and parents a week to prepare, the government announced, Friday.

The mandatory quarantine that was set in place at the end of the year for locals, returning residents and visitors coming into Zimbabwe was also lifted for those individuals who are fully vaccinated.

These eased measures come after the government said the country was recording a decline in Covid-19 cases.

Acting Minister of Health and Child Care, Professor, Dr Aaron Murwira, said the schools can open after one week of finalising all reopening preparations by both school administrators and parents.

“The general school calendar starts on February 7, 2022, following one week of finalising all reopening preparations by both schools’ administrators and parents,” he said in a press statement.

“Over the past two weeks, the country has recorded a decline in new Covid-19 cases. The national Covd-19 epidemic curve is indicating that the fourth wave is at its tail end and this wave appears to be brought under control. In this regard, the acting president, General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga has reviewed the Covid -19 level Tow National Lockdown measures.”

The government also reduced the curfew period and allowed businesses to open for longer hours but did not specify the operating hours for supermarkets.

“The business community will go back to working from their offices whilst continuing to observe Covid-19 prevention measures such as social distancing and also continuing to encourage their employees and patrons to be vaccinated,” Prof Murwira said.

“Curfew shall now begin at midnight and end at 05.30 am the following day. Restaurants and hotels offering catering services are to operate from 8 am and close 10 pm and allow sit-ins only for fully vaccinated persons.”

Prof Murwira noted bars and night clubs may also open from 8am to 10 pm, only for vaccinated persons

All persons entering Zimbabwe must undergo a valid covid-19 PCR test no more than 48 hours from the time of their departure to the country, added the acting minister.

“Those who do not have a valid negative PCR test and a certificate to that effect shall be denied entry into Zimbabwe,” he said while quarantine for locals returning residents and visitors is lifted for those fully vaccinated.

“The wearing of face masks in public places , especially public transport and closed space gatherings remain mandatory and must be enforced. Eligible members of the public are encouraged to be vaccinated.”

Prof Murwira indicated that the provincial Covid-19 taskforce teams were urged to increase their efforts in mobilising eligible members of the public to get vaccinated..

“Finally the practise of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended Covid-19 preventive public health and social measures that include washing of hands, sanitising, social distancing, avoiding crowds and gatherings to continue. All of the above measures are subject to periodic review depending on the prevailing Covid-19 situations,” said the acting health minister.

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