New restrictions for entry to Zimbabwe apply to all travellers and are effective immediately. Vaccination does not feature in the regulations.
PCR testing at Robert Mugabe International Airport (Harare), Joshua Nkomo International Airport (Bulawayo) and Victoria Falls international Airport (Vic Falls) upon arrival is now mandatory, followed by a minimum quarantine period of 10 days. The Health Ministry says it will establish airport PCR testing laboratories, and the PCR test will be done for a nominal fee, yet to be gazetted.
“All returning residents and visitors have to undergo PCR testing, and will be quarantined at own cost, even if they present negative PCR test results from elsewhere,” President Emmerson Mnangagwa stated in a live televised address on November 30.
Those who test negative must quarantine for 10 days at a site determined by the government, while those who test positive must quarantine for 14 days, a newly issued statutory instrument has now proclaimed.
Home quarantine is not permitted, according to a communication sent out by SAA. A list of quarantine centres will soon be published by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC).
PCR testing is not required for children under five years one month (61 months) old.
Travel News has had sight of a summary of the initial Cabinet briefing, which says that other exemptions to the requirement for PCR testing on arrival may only be issued by the Secretary of Health (for example, on the grounds of health or age), and there will be “official exemptions”. These will include VIPs, diplomats and their families, envoys, and UN staff and their families. Official exemptions will have to quarantine at home.
Designated business travellers, for example those visiting the government, will be exempt from quarantine requirements (and proof thereof shall be required), said the summary.
It added that airline crew on night-stops (from airport of origin or in Zimbabwe) will be exempt. The 30-day validity period for each crew PCR HC is to be reviewed.
Concerning road transport, the summary said: “Measures for land borders remain unchanged. Essential goods drivers’ PCR HC validity is to be reviewed.”
Police to man quarantine centres
The summary said a list of quarantine centres would be published by the MOHCC. They will be lodges and hotels, who will provide transport (for the traveller’s account) to the quarantine centre hotel/lodge. Once tested, the traveller will proceed to their chosen quarantine centre, which may be pre-booked before arrival, or booked on arrival. Test results will be communicated to each person tested when results are ready.
The summary added: “People failing to afford quarantine accommodation and/or transport will be handed over to Government Social Welfare Department.
“Each quarantine centre will be manned by police,” said the summary. It added: “There are no new measures for tourists. These are yet to be published.
“Government is yet to come up with a plan on whether to secure passports during the entire duration of the quarantine or isolation and only release the passports at the end of such period.”
Additional new regulations in Zimbabwe include a curfew from 21h00-06h00, and admission to restaurants, licensed premises and nightclubs is restricted to those who provide proof of full vaccination.
SAA has confirmed that the carrier’s operations from Johannesburg to Harare are currently operating as per schedule.