Zimbabwe to Charge Travellers for COVID-19 Tests

Zimbabwe on Tuesday announced that travellers showing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms at ports of entry would be tested and made to pay for the service.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa, at a post-cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, said the measure will allow the government to restock laboratory commodities.

While domestic flights resumed in the middle of September, Zimbabwe will resume international flights on Thursday this week after a six-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has announced that all travellers to Zimbabwe will be required to have PCR COVID-19 clearance certificates issued by a recognised facility within 48 hours from the date of departure in line with WHO guidelines, among other health and safety regulations.

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As a measure to guarantee the safety of travellers, Cabinet further resolved that in line with Statutory Instrument (216) (5) Section 8, travellers showing COVID-19 symptoms, whether or not they have a COVID-19 free certificate are to be tested.

A nominal fee of US$60 will levied on travellers tested at ports of entry and the proceeds will be used to restock laboratory commodities,’’ Mutsvangwa said.

She said metered taxi operators have been allowed to resume services for the movement of tourists and citizens who are unable to use public transport.

The minister said security personnel will now be fully enforcing critical COVID-19 containment measures such as physical distancing and proper wearing of masks after the government has relaxed lockdown restrictions.

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The country has recorded 7,816 COVID-19 cases, 6,112 recoveries and 228 deaths as on Monday.

You will recall that the Zimbabwean government had on September 28 2020 reopened schools after a six-month closure, but most students went back to school only to find unattended classrooms, following a strike of teachers over pay terms and lack of anti-COVID measures.

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