THE police in Zimbabwe are rounding up nightclub and pub patrons, owners and employees who fail to provide proof of their Covid-19 vaccination.
The prescribed fine for “consuming beer at a licensed premises without proof of vaccination” carries a ZW$2 000 (about R150) fine.
According to Statutory Instrument (SI) number 36 of Zimbabwe’s national lockdown regulations: “Any person in charge of licensed premises who, within or in the immediate vicinity of such premises, admits or serves any customer without proof of full vaccination exhibited by that customer shall be guilty of an offence.”
The law adds if found guilty, a person could, beyond the fine, be jailed for a period not exceeding a year.
The government allowed nightclubs and pubs to open their doors last week Tuesday, almost 19 months after the Covid-19 lockdown was enacted.
Speaking to journalists during a post-cabinet briefing on Tuesday, information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the daily Covid-19 case average went down to 10 from 19.
A fortnight ago, Zimbabwe began receiving its 943 200 share of vaccines under global partnership Covax — comprised of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, Unicef and the WHO — which was established to facilitate equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for all countries.
The Covax-linked vaccines arrived in two batches within two weeks, complementing about 12 million double-dose Sinovac and Sinopharm jabs as Zimbabwe races to reach herd immunity through vaccinating 60% of the population.
At the end of September, at least 3.5-million people had received their first dose of the vaccine and 2.2 million their second. This accounts for a national coverage of 35.7% for the first dose and 25.8% for the second dose.