GOVERNMENT has, with immediate effect, banned the use of schools by churches saying this increased the risk of coronavirus infections when the learning facilities finally reopen later this month.
In a statement Wednesday, Primary and Secondary Education minister Cain Mathema said schools will only be allowed to open to O and A Level students sitting for their June examinations.
He claimed the use of schools by churches defeated government's ongoing efforts to disinfect the learning facilities in preparation for their eventual reopening.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration has kept schools closed since the imposition of a nationwide lockdown in March as part on its coronavirus containment measures.
"It has come to the ministry's attention that there are some organisations, including churches, that would like to use schools and structures during this Covid-19 period and as we prepare for the reopening of schools on July 28, 2020, I would like to state that school opening is only for June 2020 examinations and other levels would resume school when the health situation permits," Mathema said.
"In light of this, I would like to confirm that government's efforts will be at securing safe and secure reopening that meets the World Health Organisation's guidelines.
"Given the need to disinfect schools, and make other preparations, the schools will not open for use by any organisations until further notice," he said.
The government ban on the use of schools by congregations follows a similar ban on the use of the learning facilities as Covid-19 quarantine centres.