Zim lockdown measures eased

President Emmerson Mnangagwa Monday eased the country’s Covid-19-induced lockdown measures scrapping requirements for travel exemption letters, giving the green light for intercity travel to resume while granting the informal sector permission to reopen upon fulfilling World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

In a televised address to the nation, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabweans should however remain alert despite the falling new cases and deaths.

“Supermarkets can now remain open up to 7pm to reduce congestion and must enforce social distancing within their premises,” said Mnangagwa.

“Industry to open with strict adherence to the World Health Organisation set standards and national Covid-19 guidelines such as the regular disinfection of premises, social distancing, hand sanitisation and use of body temperature checks at entrances. Non compliance in this regard will attract targeted closures of entities.”

He said as per the previous announcement, the informal sector and food markets can re-open on conditions that they strictly adhere to WHO set standards.

“The curfew is adjusted and will now be from 10pm to 5:30am,” said Mnangagwa.

“Letters are no longer required for movement. The wearing of masks, temperature checks as well as washing of hands or use of sanitisers in all public areas remain mandatory.”

He said schools, colleges and universities should now prepare to reopen but in compliance with WHO Covid-19 guidelines.

“Intercity travel can now resume, “said the President.

“Bus operators must however ensure the disinfection of their buses, wearing masks, temperature checks and sanitisation of passengers.

Funeral gatherings, the President said remain restricted to 30 people, adding other social gatherings should not exceed 50.

President Mnangagwa said restaurants can now open for takeaways and deliveries stressing that no sit-ins were allowed.

“Beerhalls, bars, night clubs and gymnasiums remain closed,” he said.

“Bottle stores must strictly operate takeaways as required by the law.”

Meanwhile over 15 000 Zimbabweans, mainly health workers and others in the essential services have been vaccinated in the ongoing programme which started on February 18 following a donation of 200 000 Sinopharm vaccines by China.

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