Business Community Development Health

Coronavirus lockdown: essential industries and services will need to remain open


Dr. Sekai Nzenza, the Minister of Industry and Commerce has said that essential industries and services will need to remain open to support the health sector and to ensure minimal disruption in critical goods and services.

“The primary objective remains that of protecting the lives of the employees in these industries by adhering to the strictest occupational health and safety measures under the circumstances. Businesses that will be operating during this period are encouraged to put in place workplace prevention and early detection protocols to protect the employees and to mitigate the effects of the virus.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce in conjunction with the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe will constitute a task force to monitor the price movements and availability of essential goods in addition to other consumer protection mechanisms during this period,” Dr. Nzenza said.

The following are guidelines indicating which industries and services are exempt from the National lockdown:


All essential service providers, producers and their staff in the following supply chains must remain operational;

  • Electricity Distribution
  • Water Supply
  • Sewerage and Sanitation
  • Supply of Fuel, LP Gas and other Industrial Gases Page 2 of 3
  •  ICT – data centres, basic telecoms, fibre optic infrastructure, towers and antennae. All key providers of communication services, ICT support services for critical industries and for the banking sector should remain open.


The following critical services and productive activities will continue operations:

  1. Manufacturing and distribution of health-related products, supplies, devices, equipment and medicines as well as essential inputs thereto.
  2.  Agricultural and food supply related operations, including farming, veterinary and phytosanitary service providers, pest control services, chemical, and fertilizer production and distribution.
  3. Food, beverages, poultry and dairy products including manufacturing, processing and distribution facilities for the value chain.
  4. Manufacturing and Importation of basic commodities.
  5. Manufacturing, processing, and distribution of sanitisation products including soaps, detergents, disinfectants, and sanitisers.
  6.  Production and distribution of sanitary products including sanitary pads, cotton wool, tissues, etc.
  7. Warehousing, transport, and logistics for food & essential products, and health-related goods.
  8. Production of packaging products that are critical in the movement and distribution of the above goods.
  9. Food outlets – retail and wholesale shops for food and essential products. Essential products include toilet paper, cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants, personal hygiene products, bedding and clothing, and essential supplies for those taking care of the sick and to maintain the general public’s well-being.
  10. All activities for exporters of manufactured goods and horticultural produce. 11.Funeral Parlours and support services.


The following services are required to continue operations:

1 All healthcare-related services are they public or private.

2. Professional and artisan services, to the extent that they are providing support in the Covid19 response, essential and critical business continuity services.

3. Cleaning, laundry and hospitality services supporting the Covid19 response.

4. Hotels, airlines, stadiums, car rental services, to the extent that they are supporting the Covid-19 Response.

5. Financial and insurance services and health funders required to finance and support essential and critical business continuity services in the Covid-19 Page 3 of 3 response, and provide short term bridging finance to people and businesses during this period.

6. Communication and media services on screen, TV, radio, print, broadcast and online.

7. Safety and security services protecting people and property.

“The enforcement of a nationwide lockdown is an extension of measures being implemented by the Government to mitigate and prevent the effects of COVID-19. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce will be working closely with key stakeholders to ensure that critical goods and services are rendered during this period,” Dr. Nzenza added.


About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende