Zimbabwe: Police Warn Public On Lockdown Measures

Police have warned people who defy lockdown measures which came into force yesterday that they risk arrest and prosecution.

In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the enforcement of the Government's revised Covid-19 lockdown measures on health and security as announced at the weekend, would be done without fear or favour.

He said police would ensure that all gatherings except funerals were banned.

"Mourners are implored to stick to the stipulated figure of 30 people and observe all Covid-19 protocols.

"Patrols and monitoring will be done by police to ensure that beerhalls, bars and nightclub remain closed.

"Bottle store owners should strictly observe the given operational time of 1000 hours to 1600hours.

"In this regard, all those found drinking beer at bottle stores and inside vehicles will be arrested."

Restaurants and fast food outlets were also supposed to observe the law and ensure that they only served take-aways as pronounced by the Government.

"Only hotels and lodges are allowed to serve resident customers in their bars and restaurants till 2200hours every day," he said.

He said police would also ensure that regulations on the wearing of face masks, social distancing and sanitising were observed in all public places, including tobacco auction floors, supermarkets, public transport and market places.

"Police will ensure that the curfew order previously issued by the Government is complied with. The curfew order runs from 2200hours to 0530hours.

"Members of the public are urged to put their safety and health first and avoid boarding mushika-shika and pirate taxis for the smooth maintenance of law and order in the country," Ass Comm Nyathi said.

Intensified lockdown measures came into force yesterday and barred all social and religious gatherings, while firmly enforcing existing protocols in the business sector.

They have been endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a prompt, effective and welcome measure following last week's noticeable rise in Covid-19 infection rates.

Vice President and Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Constantino Chiwenga announced the intensified lockdown on Saturday which came into effect yesterday.

The measures keep the economy open but businesses have been warned that enforcement will be tighter, with offenders now facing the possible loss of business licences.

The major changes are a one-hour reduction in the maximum number of working hours from 8am to 6pm while duty staff on business premises should be at half level.

All meetings and workshops are to be held virtually and restaurants are only allowed to serve take-aways.

Another major change to prevent or slow infection, was a ban on all religious and social gatherings, except funerals that have been limited to 30 people.

Night clubs and beerhalls remain shut.

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