Health Legal and Parliamentary Affiars

Public Health Lock-down Order: Extension of Lock-down

The lockdown is meant to limit crowding. Photo credit: News Hawks

By Veritas

The thirty-first amendment to the Lock-down Order was published on the 30th July, in SI 210 of 2021, and can be accessed on the Veritas website [link].  Its effect is simply to extend the Level IV lock-down until the 10th of August, i.e. until after the Heroes Day and Defence Forces Day weekend.  The special lock-downs imposed in Hurungwe, Kariba, Kwekwe, and Makonde districts are also extended to the 10th of August.

What this means is that for the duration of the extended lock-down [that is, until the 10th August]:

Intercity transport is prohibited throughout the country except for:

·      the carriage of staff, goods, and equipment needed for essential services

·      the carriage of sick persons to hospitals and other health care providers

·      travel by foreign diplomats or by foreigners seeking assistance from their countries’ diplomatic missions

·      the transport of food, fuel, basic goods, and medical supplies

·      the carriage of police officers, Defence Force personnel and public health officials, and

·      the carriage of staff, goods, and equipment needed for the operation of tobacco auction floors.

Schools, colleges, universities, and polytechnics are closed, except for:

·      institutions providing online or distance education, and

·      institutions providing medical training or research useful in combating COVID-19.

Other measures Announced by Cabinet Not Implemented

·      Opening of Victoria Falls and Kazungula Border Posts:  Cabinet agreed on the 27th of July that the border posts at Victoria Falls and Kazungula would be opened to tourists who were fully vaccinated.  There is nothing to this effect in the latest amendments.

·      Closing of courts:  On the 20th of July Cabinet decided that “courts of law be opened only for remand and urgent cases”.  In the past, such measures have been implemented through practice notes issued by the Chief Justice.  No practice note has yet been published.

Holiday Weekend

According to the Cabinet briefing issued yesterday, official celebrations on Heroes Day and Defence Forces Day will be low-key.  There will be a small gathering of 200 people at Heroes Acre on Heroes Day, and Defence Forces Day celebrations will be held at State House  –  presumably with everyone present wearing face masks and observing social distancing.

Private celebrations should also be low-key since most gatherings are prohibited and inter-city travel is severely restricted.

Consolidated Lock-down Order

A consolidated version of the Lock-down Order incorporating the latest amendments can be accessed on the Veritas website [link].

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende