On the 2nd January 2021, the government of Zimbabwe announced it would be reimplementing a national lockdown with measures to curb the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases across the country.
In his address to the nation, Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Constantino Chiwenga, confirmed that there had been a surge in numbers over the festive season almost doubling the number of infections recorded throughout 2020. As a result, the government would be intensifying testing and patient care throughout Zimbabwe.
The following lockdown measures have since been put in place with regards to the Tourism and Hospitality sector:
Zimbabwe’s land borders are now closed for cross border movement with the exception of commercial and transit cargo related to essential and critical services. In addition, returning residents and citizens are able to enter the country through land borders but they must carry with them a COVID negative certificate issued no later than 48 hours prior to arrival in the country.
Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls Airports remain open to travellers, including tourists. However ALL travellers are now required to hold a COVID negative certificate issued no later than 48 hours prior to departure for Zimbabwe. Those who arrive without a COVID negative certificate will face deportation.
Restaurants & Bars
All restaurants & bars have been closed until the 2nd February 2021 except for those situated within hotels and catering for hotel guests.
Tourism Facilities & National Parks
Tourist facilities and National Parks will be open and will be following the health and safety protocols outlined by WHO and Ministry of Health and Child Welfare guidelines.
Inter provincial and intercity transport services are restricted to essential services and part 4 commercial services. Neither the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority nor the parent Ministry are in a position to issue exemption letters to the travelling public. Therefore those wishing to travel should request documentation from their booking agent or the accommodation provider which clearly outlines the names of the guests, travel dates and destinations. Please note that as this is a National Response Strategy and regulations stipulate that inter provincial and intercity travel is restricted, travellers may be turned back at road blocks to return to their originating destination. The recommendation by authorities is to stay at home now and travel later.
Visitors are still able to travel to Zimbabwe, arriving by flight to the major airports in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls. All travellers are now required to present a COVID negative certificate on arrival issued no later than 48 hours prior to departure for Zimbabwe.
Such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets remain open between the hours of 8am and 3pm.
A blanket curfew across the country has been implemented between 6pm and 6am.
All tourism facilities continue to practice health and safety protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.
It is hoped that these measures will go a long way to preventing further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and allow the country to contain the pandemic as quickly as possible. The current measures will be reviewed once again at the end of January. A copy of the new measures and SI are downloadable from HERE.