Zimbabwe Relaxes Virus Lockdown Restrictions to Boost Economy

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HARARE (Bloomberg) – Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa eased restrictions on movement implemented in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, to revive the nation’s struggling economy.

The measures include allowing the informal sector, including open markets, to resume operations and churches to reopen, Mnangagwa said in a speech Friday in the capital, Harare. Residents will be allowed to travel throughout the country when necessary, he said.

“From the pains of the pandemic, we must now find new impetus to rebuild,” he said. “The liberalization of our economy must continue in earnest. Reforms stuck in the wheels of bureaucracy must be unleashed, catalyzed and implemented.”

Zimbabwe has 332 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to the latest data from the health ministry. Formal businesses have been allowed to operate during the lockdown, with the wearing of masks in public made mandatory.