UPDATED: Govt scraps mandatory wearing of facemasks as Covid-19 eases

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By Darlington Gatsi

GOVERNMENT has with immediate effect scrapped mandatory wearing of face-masks in public to people who are fully vaccinated.

Under the new regulation announced by information minister Monica Mutsvangwa at Tuesday’s post cabinet briefing, members of the public will only have to wear masks indoors.

Mutsvangwa said the decision to remove the outdoor mask mandate for the triple-vaccinated was backed by the marked decline in Covid-19 cases.

“Noting the decrease in Covid-19 cases, Cabinet resolved that those who have received three doses of the World Health Organisation recommended vaccines are exempted from mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor public places but should however wear face masks in indoor public places and on public transport.

Technology Professor Amon Murwira said masks were not a punishment but a measure to protect people against Covid-19 hence everyone should continue to adhere to the existing regulations.

“Masks are a matter of public health and the health of an individual who is putting them on. So it is very important that we always stress the reason why people should always put on masks is because they have to live and make the people around them live too while fighting against the pandemic,” he said.

“We are not saying the triple-vaccinated must, but people with three jabs can remove them in outdoor public spaces but not in indoor public spaces like in public transport; then they have to put on their masks.”

He said those who qualify for the exemption should always have their vaccination cards on them in the event that they are asked by the police.

Professor Murwira said the country was not yet out of the woods as it could record a resurgence of new cases hence it was in the interest of public health that people continue wearing masks.

Government introduced the wearing of face masks as a containment measure against Covid-19 three years ago.