By Robert Tapfumaneyi
GOVERNMENT has threatened to withdraw licences from Tobacco Auction Floors who are not adhering to Covid-19 preventive measures.
Addressing journalists in Harare Saturday evening, Vice President and Health Minister Costantino Chiwenga also banned vending at all tobacco auction floors around the country.
“The owners must ensure strict adherence to preventive measures such as proper wearing of face masks, temperature checks and sanitizing of clients and maintaining physical distancing,” he said.
“Each consignment of tobacco bales to be accompanied by at most 2 people into the auction floor and targeted vaccination of tobacco farmers and their workers will be available.
“Tobacco auction floor employees are required to have a negative Covid-19 PCR or rapid antigen test which will be valid for 2 weeks.
“Vending within and around the tobacco floors is prohibited and ministry health inspectors and other law enforcement agencies shall be monitoring for compliance.
“Failure to adhere to these measures will result in closure of that particular auction floor.”
Vending is often more profitable during the country’s tobacco selling seasons when free spending farmers are in towns.