Govt relaxes lockdown regulations for tourism and hospitality industry
Harare (New Ziana) – The government on Tuesday further relaxed Covid-19 lockdown regulations by allowing the re-opening of national parks and safaris initially to domestic tourists only.
Zimbabwe is currently observing level 2 lockdown for an indefinite period under which businesses and companies operate under more relaxed conditions.
Announcing the new measures, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said restaurants would also now be allowed to have sit-in customers.
Previously, restaurants were only allowed to serve take aways.
“Requests for variations of operating conditions in respect of restaurant operators and to re-open safari operators for local hunting only and national parks were granted,” she said in her weekly Post Cabinet briefing.
“Restaurants will now be allowed to serve sit in meals at 50 percent of the restaurant’s sitting capacity.”
Asked whether the re-opening of tourism for local citizens also meant the resumption of inter-city travel, Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said travelling between cities remained banned.
Intercity travel was banned when the country entered into a national lockdown at the end of March.
“Intercity travel remains banned. We are keen to start a phased approach where we are opening these (national parks and safaris) to locals. We are opening this so that those within the vicinity of the national parks and the Safaris are able to take advantage and visit,” he said.
“This will give us a clear picture on our state of readiness when the President opens up inter-city travel we should be able to handle our clients in a most protected way. We are very much cautious about the virus.”
Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa said Cabinet was informed that Covid-19 cases now stood at 567, of which 474 were imported cases from South Africa, Botswana and the UK, while 77 were local cases.
She said Harare Metropolitan Province had recorded 212 positive cases, the highest number in the country.
“Worth noting however, is the number of those who have recovered from the disease, which has increased from the previously reported total of 64 to 142, while deaths now stand at seven,” she said.
“Given the surge in the number of local transmissions of the disease, Cabinet agreed that all those who test positive from both private and public quarantine centres should be moved to an identified isolation centre as a matter of urgency in order to prevent further spread of the pandemic.”