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Zimbabwe keeps borders closed, but opens its airports to visitors

by Staff reporter
01 Oct 2020 at 08:09hrs | Views
Zimbabwe re-opened its borders to air travellers on Thursday, but officials said borders would remain closed.

Zimbabwe imposed a national lockdown at the end of March to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and only returning residents and commercial cargo were being allowed entry.

The lockdown measures are being eased, and after initially announcing that the country would be open from October 1, officials now say only airports will be open for inbound and outbound traffic.

Home affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said on Wednesday: "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 lockdown precautions still stand. However, the issue will be discussed in due course."

Beitbridge, on the border with South Africa, is Zimbabwe's biggest port of entry, handling over 600,000 travellers yearly.

Millions of Zimbabweans live and work in South Africa, and the lockdown has disrupted family life.

South Africa opened its borders on Thursday, but leisure travellers from countries with coronavirus infection rates higher than South Africa, including Britain, the United States, France, India, The Netherlands and Russia will still not be permitted to enter, ministers said on Wednesday.

Business travellers from these "high-risk" countries with scarce and critical skills including diplomats, repatriated persons and investors will be allowed to enter, Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said

Travellers to South Africa, a long-haul destination popular for its pristine beaches and safari tours, will need to show a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours on arrival or stay in mandatory quarantine at their own cost.

Zimbabwe, meanwhile, requires visitors to produce a Covid-19 negative test taken in the last 48 hours. Ministers said visitors who exhibit Covid-19 symptoms will be retested for US$60 at airports, regardless of their negative Covid-19 test certificate.

Source - zimlive