Zimbabwe: Borders reopen for fully vaccinated people

All points of entry have reopened to fully vaccinated travelers with valid Covid-19 PCR test certificates following convincing progress in containing the virus.

The Cabinet agreed to the reopening of land ports after a prolonged closure prompted by the need to control the spread of the virus.

Prior to last night’s announcement, borders were open for commercial activity, with airports serving other non-commercial activities, including returning residents.

Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Minister for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said: “Given the continued decline in new cases and deaths associated with a declining test positivity rate which indicates that community transmission has decreased, all ports of entry be:reopened but ensuring that all recommended Covid-19 prevention measures are adhered to.

“All persons entering Zimbabwe must have had a valid Covid-19 PCR test within 48 hours of leaving for Zimbabwe, and be fully immunized.

“Those who have received a booster shot have an entry advantage.

“Despite the continued decline in the number of new cases and deaths reported per day, strict enforcement of all Covid-19 regulations coupled with enhanced pandemic risk communication must continue as the pandemic is not yet over. .”

Zimbabwe has also successfully contained the spread of Covid-19 in schools. Since classes resumed this month, no learner has tested positive for the virus while only one teacher in the country has tested positive.

Minister Mutsvangwa said there were sufficient stocks of vaccines and urged those who had not yet been vaccinated to take advantage of the national vaccination programme.

She also encouraged people to do encores.

The government pledged to release more money to respond to the virus and Minister Mutsvangwa gave an update on the continued response to the global pandemic.

“The provinces should take advantage of the reopening of schools to intensify vaccinations for people aged 16 and over.

“The Department of Health and Child Care has proposed monthly vaccination targets for each province to help accelerate vaccination as well as urgently identify and resolve any challenges in a timely manner.

“Treasury will release sufficient funds to support vaccine risk communication and community engagement campaigns as well as updated provincial immunization strategies and micro-plans that aim to accelerate vaccinations,” said the Minister Mutsvangwa.

Speaking on the situation in schools after an update from the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Minister Mutsvangwa said the Cabinet had noted with concern the failure of some teachers to report for duty.

“It is particularly worrying to note that some teachers have reportedly been prevented from doing their job, as well as the presence of some teachers without giving lessons.

“The Minister of Primary and Secondary Education has been instructed to take strong action in consultation with the Chairman of the Public Service Commission and the Ministers of Higher and Higher Education, Innovation, Science Development and Technology, and Civil Service, Labor and Welfare.

“A proper statement on the matter will be issued by the Minister as soon as possible.

“The Cabinet would like to commend the teachers who have continued to discharge their duties,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.

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