The government has shortened an overnight curfew imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus and extended business hours despite rising cases, the government said after a weekly cabinet meeting.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month announced a 6 pm to 6 am curfew, but Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa on Tuesday said this had left commuters stranded without transport.
The dusk to dawn curfew has been amended to start at 8 pm, while business hours will be extended to 4.30 pm from 3 pm. Mutsvangwa said:
Having noted the plight of the public and the need to lessen the risk of contracting COVID-19, Cabinet directed… that the business hours which were ending at 15:00 hours be revisited to end at 1630 hours and the curfew to be extended to 2000 hours… Public transport drivers undergo regular COVID-19 PCR tests and… that public transport buses be allowed a dedicated lane at roadblocks to expedite their passage.
The government banned kombis in March, but the public transport utility, ZUPCO, is failing to cope, forcing commuters to queue well beyond curfew hours.
Zimbabwe had, as of August 17, recorded 5 308 coronavirus cases and 135 deaths.