Schools opening date announced

Source: Schools opening date announced – NewsDay Zimbabwe

GOVERNMENT yesterday further relaxed COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, and announced that schools would open for the first term on February 7 as the country continues to record low infection and death rates.

Most businesses were given the greenlight to resort to normal operating hours while bars, nightclubs and restaurants will remain open until 10pm.

Curfew hours have also been adjusted to run from midnight until 5:30am.

In a statement, Health and Child Care acting minister Amon Murwira said government had finalised preparations for the safe reopening of schools.

Murirwa said cases and fatalities had been on a downward trend for the past two weeks, necessitating the further relaxation of lockdown measures.

“The general school calendar starts on February 7, 2022 following one week of finalising all opening preparations by both school administrators and parents,” he said.

Teachers unions and other stakeholders had argued that the continued closure of schools was not sustainable and denied learners their right to education.

“The business community to go back to working from their offices while continuing to observe COVID-19 preventive measures such as social distancing, and also continuing to encourage their employees and parents to get vaccinated,” Murirwa said.

“All persons entering Zimbabwe must undergo a valid COVID-19 PCR [polymerase chain reaction] testing not more than 48 hours from the time of their departure for Zimbabwe. Those who do not have a negative PCR test and certificate to that effect shall be denied entry into Zimbabwe. Quarantine for locals, returning residents are lifted for those fully vaccinated.

“All of the above measures are subject to periodic review depending on the prevailing COVID-19 situation.”

Statistics from the Health ministry show that Zimbabwe recorded 153 new cases on Thursday, all local, and three fatalities.

The seven-day rolling average for new cases fell to 200 from 235 as of Wednesday. About 4 421 received the first dose on the day, bringing the cumulative figure to 4,2 million.

Also, 4 783 received their second dose, bringing the total to 3,2 million, while 251 received booster shots to push the number to 48 966.

Zimbabwe has, since March 2020, recorded 229 096 cases and 5 324 deaths.