Mnangagwa extends lockdown, but relaxes some conditions

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has extended the lockdown by a further 14 days, but has relaxed some aspects of his stay-at-home orders.

In a televised address, Mnangagwa said the country was moving away from the strict lockdown and has gone to stage 2, which will allow industry to reopen.

Among the new measures is that businesses can reopen but can only operate between 8am and 3pm.

Businesses would be expected to set up screening protocols and ensure that social distancing protocols are observed.

Those that are going to work will be expected to use public transport, while everyone will be mandated to wear a mask, Mnangagwa said.

Public buses are expected to be disinfected twice a day.

Kombis and other private taxis remain banned.

Churches, gyms and other recreational facilities will remain closed, while public gatherings of more than 50 people remain banned.

Mnangagwa said the informal sector, except for farm produce, remained closed under the new terms.

Among other things, he announced that conditions were not yet conducive for the reopening of schools, as such, learning institutions remained closed.

He also announced an income tax break for health workers and health institutions for a period of six months.

Mnangagwa said he would rather err on the side of caution.

Zimbabwe has recorded 40 navirus cases so far, with four fatalities.

The country’s first lockdown ran from 30 March to 19 April, before it was extended by two weeks.

In addition to the measures, Mnangagwa also announced an $18 billion economic stimulus package.

“The package is proportionate to the disruption the virus has caused to the national economy,” Mnangagwa said.


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