Health and Child Care Minister, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga on Saturday announced tough lockdown measures as the government moves to curb an exponential rise in new coronavirus infections.
Chiwenga made the announcement at a press conference in Harare on Saturday evening.
Here are the highlights from Chiwenga’s presentation:
- All gatherings except funerals have been banned for 30 days. This includes weddings, churches, bottle stores, gyms, restaurants. The maximum number of people who can attend funerals has been reduced to 30.
- Existing COVID-19 preventive health measures will be strictly enforced. That is the correct wearing of face masks, social distancing, hand sanitisation and temperature checks. Offenders will be prosecuted.
- Only essential services remain open such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets, with only essential staff allowed to come to work. These services can only open at 8 am and must close at 3 pm. Curfew times have been adjusted from 6 pm in the evening to 6 am.
- Only key commerce services allowed to operate in part four of the lockdown such as mining, manufacturing and agriculture will operate as before. The rest of formal and informal businesses are suspended from January 5, 2021, for 30 days.
- Inter-provincial and inter City transport services are restricted only to essential services and commercial services allowed in Part 4 of the lockdown stages.
- Air transport remains unhindered with transport and returning residents being required to present COVID-19 certificates. As for land access, only returning residents will be permitted subject to COVID-19 certificates.
- People must stay at home save for buying food and medicines or transporting sick relatives.
- On schools, only examination classes will be open (for now).
- Cross border traders are stopped forthwith, save for commercials and transit cargo related to essential and critical services.
- Air Transportation remains unhindered and will continue as before with arrivals and returning residents being required to present Covid-19 free certificates. As for land borders, only returning residents and essential service drivers will be allowed into the country.
- The VP emphasised that restaurants, bottle stores, bars should close for 30 days except for bars and restaurants that serve hotel residents. Tourist facilities and national parks remain open subject to the usual health precautions.