Encouraged by a slow down of Covid-19 cases and related deaths, Zimbabwe on Tuesday relaxed lockdown restrictions.
In a televised address President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced longer operating hours for businesses, the lifting of a ban on inter-city travel, and allowing public gatherings of a maximum of 100 people.
A curfew previously effective between 6 pm and 6 am was also shortened to between 10 pm and 5.30 am.
Business enterprises will now operate between 8 am and 7 pm.
Mnangagwa said the low number of deaths justified the new measures.
“The daily average of deaths has decreased from 20 to 10,” said Manangagwa.
“It is a clear demonstration that the government’s implementation of public health and social measures including lockdowns in collaboration with all sectors and stakeholders is paying off.
“I’m therefore reducing the current Level 4 lockdown to Level 2 lockdown.”
The Level 2 lockdown measures include an increase in operating hours for restaurants and bars within hotels and lodges to open between 8 am and 10 pm.
He also relaxed restrictions on the sale of alcohol, saying liquor stores may sell alcohol for consumption off the premises between 10 am and 4 pm.
However, beer outlets and nightclubs will remain closed during the lockdown.
Mnangagwa said public gatherings would be limited to not more than 100 people.
He said such gatherings must observe public health measures such as wearing of masks, hand sanitisation, social distancing, and temperature checks.
Zimbabweans are also being encouraged to get the jab.
Persons entering Zimbabwe from other countries must obtain a Covid-19 PCR test not more than 48 hours from the time of their departure.
Mnangagwa said the measures would be reviewed on September 21.
Zimbabwe has recorded 125 671 Covid-19 cases and 4 93 deaths since the coronavirus outbreak last year.
The country of 15 million people has so far vaccinated 2.7 million people.
The target is to vaccinate two-thirds of the population by the end of the year.