Zimbabwe reopens bars to vaccinated people as it further relaxes lockdown

Map of Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday announced the reopening of all licensed bars to fully vaccinated clients, as it continues to relax lockdown measures and open up the economy.

“Cabinet notes, with concern, that the continued closure of licensed bars and nightclubs has caused not only a loss of income and unemployment but also resulted in the mushrooming of illegal outlets,” Zimbabwean Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said during a media briefing after a cabinet meeting.

“Cabinet therefore directed that all licensed bars be opened to fully vaccinated clients. Bar owners are also required to ensure that the World Health Organization and national protocols and guidelines are enforced,” and would have their licenses withdrawn if they fail to do so, Mutsvangwa said, adding that “the bars are also required to adhere to curfew hours.”

The bars had remained closed since June, despite some relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown early last month.

Mutsvangwa said the government will strengthen the implementation of all public health and social measures in view of a potential fourth wave.

On Monday, the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health said 3,117,895 people had taken the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 2,322,862 people were fully vaccinated.

The government is aiming to inoculate at least 60 percent of the country’s some 14 million citizens to achieve herd immunity by year-end.