The government has reintroduced exemption letters which were used during the first lockdown in 2020 for those employed in critical sectors of the economy, with immediate effect.
This means that all unnecessary movement within towns and cities has been banned, with only workers travelling to work and others seeking essential services allowed to travel.
Speaking during a post-cabinet media briefing on Tuesday evening, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said businesses that violate the restrictions will face stiffer penalties including the withdrawal of business operating licences. She said:
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The nation is advised that the exemption mechanisms which were used during the first lockdown in 2020 will be reactivated with immediate effect.
Given the above challenges, Cabinet has directed that the Treasury urgently releases the first tranche of $368.2 million it had committed to funding the enforcement of Level 4 lockdown measures.
This will reinforce the current efforts of containing the spread of COVID-19. Stiffer penalties will be imposed for violations of COVID-19 restrictions, including the withdrawal of business operating licences.
As you might be aware, the entire country is now under Level 4 lockdown, following the surge in COVID-19 cases.
It is however not clear who will be responsible for issuing the exemption letters and how essential service workers will travel before they acquire the documents.