Cabinet acceded to a request by the tourism industry to open the Victoria Falls and Kazungula Border Posts to tourists who are fully vaccinated, a Government official has said.
Addressing the media during the 25th Post Cabinet Press Briefing, Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the decision was made after the realization that over 60% of the population in Victoria Falls has been vaccinated.
In April 2021, Victoria Falls became the first city to achieve herd immunity in the country after administering Covd-19 vaccines to more than three quarters of the targeted population.
Covid-19 saw the shutting down of boarders all over the world including Zimbabwean boarders, a development which hugely affected the tourism industry.
Tourism, an industry that largely relies on travel, has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 mitigatory measures which anchored on avoiding crowds and banning unnecessary travelling, measures taken around the world.
Victoria Falls had been pinning its hope on the vaccination programme which would resultantly allow more and more people to visit the city.
Prior to the pandemic, more than 350 000 people visited the Zimbabwean side of the waterfalls every year to admire the world’s largest waterfall by volume of falling water. However with global travel restrictions and strict national lockdowns enforced to curb the spread of Covid-19, tourist activities in the resort city were shut down for the greater part of 2020.
As of 26 July 2021, Zimbabwe’s cumulative COVID-19 cases stood at 99 944, with 67 827 recoveries and 3 173 deaths. The recovery rate stood at 67%, with 98% of cases being attributed to local transmission. Active cases were 28 944.
Meanwhile Minister Mutsvangwa revealed that the Cabinet was informed that the number of infections decreased slightly, with a total of 14 275 cases being recorded during the week under review, compared to the 21 346 cases recorded the previous week. This reflected a 49.5% decrease, as the country’s efforts to contain the pandemic showed a high level of effectiveness. Nevertheless, Cabinet noted the need to strengthen efforts to contain the Third Wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.