by Babatunde Abdulfatah
(Xinhua/Naija247news) The Zimbabwean Government announced on Tuesday that it will charge for COVID-19 tests done on travellers showing symptoms of the disease at ports of entry.
The measure is meant to allow the government to replenish laboratory commodities, Information Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, told a post-cabinet media briefing on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe will resume international flights on Thursday this week after a six-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Domestic flights resumed in the middle of this month.
The government has announced that all travellers to Zimbabwe will be required to have PCR COVID-19 clearance certificates issued by a recognised facility within 48 hours from the date of departure in line with WHO guidelines, among other health and safety regulations.
“As a measure to guarantee the safety of travellers, Cabinet further resolved that in line with Statutory Instrument (216) (5) Section 8, which requires travellers showing COVID-19 symptoms, whether or not they have a COVID-19 free certificate to be tested.
“A nominal fee of US$60 be levied on travellers tested at ports of entry and that the proceeds be used to replenish laboratory commodities,’’ Mutsvangwa said.
She said metered taxi operators have been allowed to resume services for the movement of tourists and citizens who are unable to use public transport.
The minister said security personnel will now be fully enforcing critical COVID-19 containment measures such as physical distancing and proper wearing of masks after the government has relaxed lockdown restrictions.
The country has recorded 7,816 COVID-19 cases, 6,112 recoveries and 228 deaths as on Monday.