PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday extended the national lockdown by 14 days with relaxed restrictions aimed at maintaining the citizenry’s health.
In a bid to balance government response to the worst public health crisis in over a century and keeping the fragile economy alive, Mnangagwa allowed formal businesses to reopen under strict conditions.
Reopened businesses will have to have all staff tested by public health authorities before opening and have temperature scanners.
It will now be compulsory to wear masks in reopened businesses and outside homes.
Mnangagwa also implored vulnerable groups to approach the Social Welfare department.
Kombis and taxis remain outlawed and only public buses will be operational.
The government will dispatch compliance teams who will make random visits and those found at fault will be closed down.
Mnangagwa acknowledged the fact that Zimbabweans who are outside the country are opting to come back home therefore constituting to an expected increase in imported cases. In that regard such returnees will be subjected to a 21 day quarantine
The informal sector remains closed save for agriculture produce markets.
Meanwhile, government also released ZWL 18billion rescue and stimulus package which will be disbursed to key sectors accordingly.
The package amounts to 9% of the Gross Domestic Product( GDP) and constitutes 20% of 2020 budget.
“The package will scale up production in all sectors, improve health facilities, help vulnerable communities,” Mnangagwa said.
“The AfDB and World Bank have not extended support however, we commend all others who continue to assist the country during this hour of great need,” Mnangagwa said as he extended appreciation to China, United States, United Kingdom and UAE among others.
School re-opening dates will be announced after debriefing by relevant stakeholders in consultation with Health and Finance ministries.
“All people must wear masks of any type, including home-made ones, outside their homes,” Mnangagwa said.
“The reopening of industry and commerce, provided that companies must ensure mandatory rapid diagnostic testing of all employees, social distancing in the workplace, sanitisation and that all employees wear masks. Operating hours shall be from 8am to 3pm.”