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16 Sep 2020 | 12:04 AM UTC

Zimbabwe: Authorities ease inter-city travel restrictions September 15 /update 15

Authorities ease inter-city travel restrictions September 15; heed official instructions

entry/exit
health
transportation
ZWE

Event

The Zimbabwean government lifted restrictions on inter-city travel on Tuesday, September 15, as part of an easing of measures introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Transport providers will be required to ensure that they comply with government health standards before they are permitted to operate. Working hours were also extended to 18:30 (local time).

Domestic flights resumed on September 10 and international flights will resume from October 1. Travelers will be required to have a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure.

A nationwide curfew remains in place between 20:00 to 06:00 (local time) as part of lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus. Other COVID-19 measures remain in place in Zimbabwe, including a ban on public gatherings and events, and the compulsory use of face masks in public places.

As of Wednesday, September 16, there have been 7576 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 224 associated deaths in Zimbabwe. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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