HARARE – Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister, Kazembe Kazembe has announced that the country’s borders will remain closed despite the reopening and resumption of international airports.
International Airports have reopened on 1 October as approved by Cabinet to allow the facilitating of tourism among others.
Minister Kazembe confirmed that the public health regulations set in place for land borders which only allow passage of commercial traffic, diplomats and returning residents still remain.
The Minister said “we haven’t opened the border at Beitbridge as yet. The border is open to commercial cargo, diplomats and returning residents. In fact, the regulations as stipulated by the current lock down precautions still stand. However, the issue will be discussed in due course.”
Zimbabwe has been on the course to fully reopen in a bid to ease the pressure on the already struggling economy after more than 5 months of tight restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 lock down measure meant to curb the spread of the virus.
Schools recently reopened for examination classes and other classes will soon follow in phases.
Tourism Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu also confirmed this stating, “as far as we are concerned we have only opened airports for tourists and the rest of the borders remain open only to commercial not general human traffic.”
Lately there has been growing talk of reopening borders in SADC. Man people will be looking forward to the reopening of the Beitbridge border post, with over half a million people crossing the border each year.
Authorities at Chirundu and Kariba border posts have been getting their systems ready as they look to quickly reopen once the green light is given. With the Regional Immigration Officer, Mr Joshua Chibundu saying they were waiting for instructions from head office.
Zimbabwe and Zambia authorities have also met to evaluate the impact of the pandemic and to also come up with recommendations of systems that can be put in place before the borders of either side can be reopened for passenger traffic.
It is expected that when borders finally get to reopen, strict measures as those put in place within the use of airports will be put in place.
Travellers using the country’s airports are required to produce a Covid-19 negative test certificate taken within the last 48 hours. Those exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms regardless of their negative tests will be required to be retested at a cost of US$60.