Just as you are probably aware, Zimbabwe is now in a 21-day lockdown after the President made the decisive call that many have been calling for on Thursday. The lockdown will last until the 20th of April. That means we will spend Easter and Independence day in lockdown mode.

The lockdown is a desperate bid to slow down the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus) and buy precious time to prepare, avoid hospitals from being overwhelmed, get the masks and other equipment in place. It’s like a self-induced coma to slow down the spread of the infection. So what are you allowed to do and not do during this lockdown?

Things you are allowed and not allowed to do

  • You are not allowed to go to work, most businesses have been shutdown except very important businesses and manufacturing companies
  • If you work in one of these you are allowed to go to work but you have to use either private transport or get on a ZUPCO
  • Kombies are not allowed on the road and you are not allowed to board them anyway
  • Only two passengers are allowed in a private car, the driver and one passenger
  • You are not allowed to make long distance travel
  • You are only allowed to travel within a radius of 5 km from your home and in anycase such travel has to be essential travel such as to go buy food
  • Supermarkets will be open so you are only allowed to visit one within your 5 km radius but if you live in areas where there is none within the radius (Glen Lorne perhaps?) you are allowed to breach this limit and get to the nearest one
  • There will be roadblocks everywhere so you will have to prove your visit is essential at everyone of these roadblocks
  • You are also allowed to go out to buy medicine for yourself or others in your care
  • You are allowed to visit those who are in your care if they need help for example your mother or father in another surbub if they are sick
  • You are allowed to go out to buy and deliver medicine to them
  • Intercity travel is most probably impossible anyway since there will be not many, if any buses, to transport you. Even if you use private transport one of these many roadblocks is likely to turn you back
  • Banks are closed so you cannot visit them
  • Hospitals are open but these are Zimbabwean hospitals, they are barely functional and when we visited one on Saturday morning with an emergency we were turned away.
  • You cannot order fast food, fast food chains are closed anyway
  • You are allowed to go and stand at a bus stop provided there are not already 50 people gathered there
  • You are not allowed to go to the bank, you can only use electronic payment methods and cash is strongly discouraged. That shouldn’t be an issue to most Zimbabweans, we have never had cash anyway

All these provisions are part of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020

It is your duty to prove that you travelling meets the exceptions above

You need to prove that your travelling meets the exceptions listed above and convince the soldiers and police officers manning your local roadblock. It will be easier if you are within this 5km roadblock because chances are you are already travelling in the direction of your supermarket/pharmacy anyway.


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