Coronavirus – Zimbabwe: Health Alert, New Lockdown Restrictions, and Commercial Flights

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Event:  Update on Lockdown Restrictions and Availability of Commercial Flights

On July 21, President Mnangagwa announced new restrictions under Zimbabwe’s lockdown regulations including: implementing a curfew from 6am to 6pm except for essential services. Given the new surge of reported cases of COVID -19 in Zimbabwe, the following types of businesses can only be open from 8am to 3pm daily: Fuel outlets Restaurants Banks Bureaux de changes Courts of law Parliamentary Committees Supermarkets Vegetable markets Commercial and manufacturing enterprises Student exams International commercial flight options currently exist in Zimbabwe. S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in Zimbabwe at this time. Ethiopian Airlines reports it has resumed flights from Harare to the United States. The next flights are scheduled for today, Saturday, August 1, at 15:45, Sunday, August 2, at 13:40, and Monday, August 3, at 13:40.  Flights to Dulles, VA, and/or Chicago, IL, are scheduled thereafter on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.  However, flight schedules and costs are subject to change.  Travelers should confirm all flight details with Ethiopian Airlines when making reservations. Tickets will be sold directly by Ethiopian Airlines. The agent responsible is Fungai, on WhatsApp at +263 73 397 3863.  Contact her directly to confirm booking and payment details, but please only contact her by WhatsApp message.  Travelers are responsible for making their reservations and paying the cost of their tickets.v These Ethiopian Airlines flights are the only way to depart Zimbabwe at this time, as the government has closed all land borders except to returning residents. If you want to leave Zimbabwe, consider booking one of these flights now.  Evacuation flights are not free-of-charge and are, in fact, frequently more expensive than currently available commercial travel.

Actions to Take 

Ensure that your travel documents are valid. If you need to arrange an emergency passport or notarial service, please contact us at [email protected]  Please enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Program at state.gov to receive alerts and ensure you can be located in an emergency.  Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information. Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on state.gov for the latest information. Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19.  

Government of Zimbabwe Lockdown

The government declared the COVID-19 crisis a “national disaster” on Friday, March 27, a move allowing it to commandeer state resources towards fighting COVID-19, to use emergency regulations, and to deploy personnel for the same services. The government began a nationwide lockdown on March 30, which was slightly eased and extended indefinitely on May 16. The measure is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and requires public activities to cease and informal markets to close, with exceptions for certain food and fuel vendors as well as health-related facilities.  People are required to wear face masks in public. The public is strongly encouraged to remain in their homes, wash hands frequently, practice physical distancing, and wear face masks when out in public.

Assistance:

United States Embassy Harare, Zimbabwe

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe.

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