HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe on Monday eased a coronavirus lockdown and overnight curfew imposed in January by allowing businesses to fully re-open after the rate of new infections slowed in the last two weeks.
The news comes a day after neighbouring country South Africa eased restrictions to allow liquor sales under normal trading time and shortened curfew hours from midnight to 4 a.m., as cases in the country fell after a new coronavirus variant led to widespread infections in December and January.
Infections in Zimbabwe peaked in January, forcing the government to close or limit most businesses as well as curb the movement of people.
In the past 48 hours, Zimbabwe has recorded only 45 new infections and no COVID-19 related death.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said in a televised address Zimbabweans could now travel without restrictions, informal businesses would re-open and companies would resort to normal business hours. An overnight curfew would start from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
But restaurants would open for take-away only, while nightclubs and gyms remain closed.
During his national address this afternoon as he was updating the nation on the current national lockdown made the following points:
- Curfew adjusted from 10 PM to 5Am In the morning
- Supermarkets can open till late
- Industry to open while adhering to COVID-19 regulations
- Informal market can reopen
- Schools must prepare to open
- Intercity travel can now resume
- Funeral gathering to have 30 people other social gatherings to have 50 people
- No sit-in at restaurants
- Bars, gyms, nightclubs to remain closed