BILL WATCH 49/2021
Public Health Lock-down Order : Tightening and Extension of Lock-down
The thirtieth amendment to the Lock-down Order was published on the 13th July, in SI 198 of 2021, and can be accessed on the Veritas website [link]. Its general effect is to tighten and extend the Level IV lock-down, as we shall explain in this bulletin.
A consolidated version of the Lockdown Order is available on the Veritas website [link].
Clarification of Meaning of “Intercity Transport”
A new definition of “intercity transport” states that the term covers transport between different urban areas, whether they are cities or not, but does not extend to transport within the same urban area. Hence travel between Harare and Ruwa or between Bulawayo and Hwange would count as “intercity transport” for the purpose of the Lock-down Order even though neither Ruwa nor Hwange are cities, but transport between Hatcliffe or Kambuzuma and the centre of Harare would not be regarded as intercity.
Unfortunately SI 198/2021 has been carelessly drafted, and the definition has not been inserted into the current Lock-down Order (which is SI 200 of 2020) but into an earlier repealed version of the order, namely SI 83 of 2020. Nevertheless the intention seems to have been to amend the current Order.
Prohibition of intercity transport
The effect of convoluted amendments to section 4 of the Lock-down Order – the current one this time – is that intercity [i.e. inter city and urban areas] transport is prohibited for the duration of the Level IV lock-down, except for:
- the carriage of staff, goods and equipment needed for essential services
- the carriage of sick persons to hospitals and other health care providers
- travel by foreign diplomats or by foreigners seeking assistance from their countries’ diplomatic missions
- the transport of food, fuel, basic goods and medical supplies
- the carriage of police officers, Defence Force personnel and public health officials, and
- the carriage of staff, goods and equipment needed for the operation of tobacco auction floors [Presumably this covers the transport of bales of tobacco from farms to auction floors, but whether it also covers the carriage of farmers to witness their tobacco being sold on the floors is not clear].
Closure of Educational Institutions
Schools, colleges, universities and polytechnics are closed for the duration of the Level IV lock-down (i.e. until the 27th July), except for:
- institutions providing on-line or distance education, and
- institutions providing medical training or research useful in combating COVID-19.
Extension of Level IV Lock-down
The countrywide Level IV lockdown is extended to the 27th July, and so are the special lock-downs imposed in Hurungwe, Kariba, Kwekwe and Makonde districts.