Zimbabwe: Government Plans To Gradually Reopen Borders From December

Zimbabwe’s government on Wednesday announced the country’s land borders will be re-opened at the beginning of December after months of closure as part of measures to contain the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic, reported CGTN Africa.

All airports and land entry points were closed at the end of March following the outbreak of the pandemic.

Zimbabwe shares borders with South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.

Minister of Information Monica Mutsvangwa told reporters in the capital Harare that the decision to reopen land borders was taken after a reduction in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

“The borders will open first to passenger vehicles and pedestrian traffic as from 1st December 2020, while further assessments are being undertaken with regard to handling passenger transport,” Mutsvangwa said.

The minister added that the border points of entry will be allowed to operate indefinitely between 6am and 6pm. She also announced an extension of the curfew hours from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the convenience of travelers who are cleared late at borders.

This is the latest move by the government in its phased reopening of the economy which has been hit hard by the pandemic. Last month, domestic flights were resumed while international flights were allowed again at the beginning of this month. Tourism facilities have also been reopened and intercity traveling has also been allowed. Cross-border public transport, however, is still banned.

Zimbabwe has reported a total of 8,303 confirmed cases and 242 deaths, as of October 28. The country has been reporting a decline in the number of coronavirus cases for the last 60 days. The average numbers of daily cases are less than 30.

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.), however, has urged African countries to exercise caution regarding the pandemic despite registering a downward trend in its curve during the past 90 days.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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