Zimbabwe has finally opened its borders to private vehicles and pedestrians after the government yesterday finalised the legal instrument to operationalise the Cabinet decision granting the opening of the country’s points of entry.
Government Gazetted the Statutory Instrument 282 of 2020 to legalise the Cabinet decision to open the borders for private passenger vehicles and pedestrians with effect from today.
Beitbridge, Plumtree, Forbes, Chirundu and Victoria Falls border posts are now fully operational for the first time since March when the country went into a Coronavirus-induced national lockdown.
Private passenger vehicles and pedestrians coming or going outside Zimbabwe are free to use any of the open border posts but have to go through strict testing and screening in line with the ongoing Covid-19 protocols.
Part of the SI reads:
“With effect from the 1st December 2020, all of the ports of entry or ports of exit between Zimbabwe and a neighbouring country or territory shall be opened.
In addition, the entry or exit of goods and of persons through such port or ports shall be permitted subject to the restrictions contained in this Order and to the following additional restriction in respect of persons entering Zimbabwe who are not citizens or returning residents, namely that such persons must, at the port of entry, exhibit a Covid-19-free certificate issued not earlier than the previous 48 hours and not present with symptoms of Covid-19,”
Travellers coming into Zimbabwe will have to produce a Covid-19-free certificate issued not earlier than the previous 48 hours. If those travellers present with symptoms of Covid-19 they will be refused entry into Zimbabwe despite producing the certificate.
Covid-19 free travellers will be allowed passage but they must continue to observe the country’s Covid-19 management protocols to minimise the rate of new infections.
Additionally, the curfew has been maintained to be in force between 10 pm and 6 am.
In preparation for the reopening of the borders, officials from the Ministry of Health and Child Care have been testing officials at the border posts for Covid-19 to ensure all workers are fit for duty.
Additionally, new standard operating procedures have been drawn up to guide the handling of travellers under the new normal.
The preparations went a gear up following a meeting between Zimbabwe and South Africa’s Home Affairs Ministers, Kazembe Kazembe and Dr Aaron Motsoaledi in Beitbridge on Friday last week to ensure procedures on both sides of Zimbabwe’s busiest border post were harmonised before the re-opening of the post today.