Cresta Hotels has temporarily closed down its hotel properties across Zimbabwe in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the global tourism industry.

“Following the latest advice and recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the local authorities, Cresta Lodge Harare and Sango Conference Centre has been temporarily closed until further notice” said the hotel group in a statement.

The Managing Director for Zimbabwe, Chipo Mandela, told the Zimbabwean state-owned newspaper, The Herald, that it was a difficult decision to make but the main priority was the safeguarding of the health of customers and staff, as well as their families.

"After wide-ranging discussion with key stakeholders and considerable deliberation within the company, it has been decided that all five Cresta Hotels properties in Zimbabwe will temporarily cease operations from April 1 until further notice," said Mandela.

"While all planning in the current crisis remains difficult to undertake, it is hoped to recommence operations on Wednesday July 1, subject to decisions being made either to extend the period of closure or, preferably, to shorten this planned closure of operations."