Harare (New Ziana) – Government has activated the necessary legislation to give legal effect to a recent Cabinet decision to re-open all land borders in Zimbabwe to cross-border human traffic.
In February, Cabinet announced the re-opening of all ports of entry to fully vaccinated travelers with valid Covid-19 PCR test certificates in line with the relaxed lockdown measures informed by the declining caseload.
The borders, which had been closed to human traffic, remained open to cargo traffic and returning residents only for a prolonged period as part of broad Covid-19 containment measures.
In a government gazette, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said; “The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage hereby notifies every police officer, customs officer and immigration officer that the entry and exit of persons into and out of Zimbabwe at all ports of entry and exit is permitted subject to the provisions of Statutory Instrument 18 of 2022, on Public Health (Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (Amendment) Order, 2022 (No. 40).”
Announcing the re-opening of borders last month, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said on top of full vaccination, all persons entering Zimbabwe had to present a valid Covid-19 PCR certificate taken not more than 48 hours from the time of their departure for Zimbabwe.
“In view of the continued decline in new cases and deaths coupled with a declining testing positivity rate that is indicating that the community transmission has gone down, all ports of entry be reopened but ensuring that all the recommended Covid-19 prevention measures are adhered to,” Mutsvangwa said then.
Zimbabwe has vaccinated over 40 percent of its eligible population against Covid-19 and also boasts a number of towns and cities that have achieved herd immunity.
Zimbabwe’s widely commended vaccination programme, which kicked off in February 2021 utilising Chinese, Russian, and Indian-made vaccines, was recently extended to children aged between 12 and 15 years in line with medical advice.
Children aged between 14 and 17 years were already being vaccinated.
Zimbabwe is targeting to vaccinate at least 10 million people representing 60 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity.
The Southern African County was listed among 15 African countries that have achieved the World Health Organisation set target to fully vaccinate 10 percent of their populations by September last year.