Govt further eases lockdown

by Grace Chekai

Cabinet yesterday further eased the lockdown restrictions to allow additional sectors of the economy to start functioning.

Since March, this year when President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced some lockdown measures in a bid to curtail the spread of COVID-19, some sectors of the economy and some Government offices had remained closed.

However, Cabinet yesterday resolved to ease the lockdown measures with inter-city public transport and Central Registry Offices being allowed to resume operations.

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Mutsvangwa said, “Cabinet further approved the resumption of inter-city travel to facilitate the smooth movement of examination candidates, citizens and visitors.”

Minister Mutsvangwa further said that transporters who wish to ferry people between cities should first register with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development and they should adhere to laid down standard operating procedures.

Minister Mutsvangwa also said Cabinet approved the reopening of the Central Registry for the issuance of birth certificates, national registration and passports.

Cabinet also approved the extension of business operating hours.

"In view of the re-opening of schools for examination classes, the tourism and hospitality industry, and aviation sectors and the need to afford the working class time to attend gymnasium, Cabinet approved the extension of business operating hours including those of gymnasia from 0630 hours to 1830 hours,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Tourism sector was urged to comply with the COVID-19 regulations, as is being done in all other approved services. International travellers are now required to provide a reference 48-hour negative COVID-19 certificate.

Cabinet further approved the partial reopening of the Department of Immigration, Client Service Centre for the purpose of processing short-term investor work and student permits, issue visas at ports of entry and resume enforcement operations through the compliance section.

The National Museums and Monuments offices are also going to be opened.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs and Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Inter-Ministerial Task Force, Honourable Oppah Muchinguri said Government had adopted a symptom-based management approach in terms of testing COVID-19 virus.

 “In terms of testing, the Ministry of Health and Child Care has, in line with WHO guidelines adopted a symptom based management approach, which prioritises the testing of those people showing COVID-19 symptoms,” said Minister Muchinguri.

Cabinet has urged members of the public to continue adhering to COVID-19 regulations, despite the measures taken to further open up the economy, because COVID-19 is still far from over.

To date, Zimbabwe has recorded 7 576 positive cases and 224 deaths.