By Costa Nkomo
PRIVATE operators of public transport will have to wait longer to know the fate of their business enterprises after President Emmerson Mnangagwa Saturday maintained a strict transport ban while announcing an indefinite extension of the country’s lockdown against the spread of coronavirus.
In a special announcement on measures being taken by his administration to prevent the spread of the world pandemic, Mnangagwa said the government run ZUPCO buses shall remain the only transport allowed to operate.
“Commuter omnibuses, kombis, unregistered taxis, mshika-mshika remain banned. Only ZUPCO buses and ZUPCO contracted commuter omnibuses with stipulated number of passengers and adhering to the sanitisation and disinfection regulations will be permitted to operate,” said the President.
Mnangagwa further said intercity and cross-border movement remain banned.
The country’s informal sector which has, by default, become the country’s biggest employment base, also remains closed.
Among other measures, Mnangagwa maintained the social distancing requirement and the use of face masks and sanitisers among Zimbabweans.
He said regular disinfection of public and private places shall continue.
Mnangagwa said testing capacity in all provinces will increase with private sector testing and isolation centres set to be facilitated.
The 21-day mandatory quarantine for returning citizens continues while all businesses seeking to reopen are required to follow laid down measures in regard to sanitisation, social distancing, temperature checks and monitoring.
In terms of schools, Mnangagwa said public examination classes and final year students must be allowed to proceed but within the prevention measures while phased reopening of schools will be implemented.
Shops will continue operating while employing social distancing requirements and are allowed to operate between the adjusted times of 8am and 4:30pm.
Social gatherings, bars and gyms also to remain banned.
Restaurants are allowed to open for take-aways only.
All truck drivers will undergo mandatory Covid-19 testing.