Zimbabwe to resume flights from Thursday in boost to tourism

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will resume domestic flights from Thursday and international flights next month in a boost to tourism, but travellers will be required to have COVID-19 clearance certificates, the government said.

The Southern African nation suspended flights and shut its borders in March as it sought to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected 7,388 people and resulted in 218 deaths.

The government said in a statement that domestic flights would resume on Sept. 10, while international flights would start on Oct. 1.

“All travellers will be required to have a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognised facility within 48 hours from the date of departure,” the statement said.

A COVID-19 lockdown has until now closed all tourist attractions, forcing some hotels and resorts to lay off workers. The government expects the tourism sector to contract 7.4% this year.

Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Angus MacSwan