Zimbabwe reverted to some of the stringent lockdown measures first imposed in March 2020 as the government moved to contain a surge in COVID-19 infections.Announcing the measures on Saturday night, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said all non-essential businesses would be closed for 30 days and curfew would be extended from the current 11pm-4am (2100-0200 GMT) to 6pm-6am starting on January 5.
“People must stay at home save for buying food and medicines or transporting sick relatives,” said Chiwenga who is also minister of health.
Only essential services are to remain open such as hospitals, pharmacies and supermarkets, “with only essential staff allowed to come to work,” he said.
In addition, key commerce services are allowed to operate such as mining, manufacturing and agriculture.
However, these services would now operate between 8am and 3pm.
Public gatherings such as weddings and churches services are now banned except for funerals where only 30 people would be allowed to attend, down from 100.
Inter-city travel is now restricted only to essential services and commercial services, the vice president said.
However, air travel remains open with strict enforcement of COVID-19 health protocols to screen people coming into the country.
The new measures come as Zimbabwe has lately witnessed a surge in infections, which has overwhelmed the country’s already stretched health system.
The country has so far recorded over 14,000 cases and 377 deaths since last March.