Zimbabwe imposes dusk to dawn curfew in new COVID-19 restrictions

A man wears a mask as he walks past closed shops during a lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Harare, Zimbabwe January 28, 2021. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

HARARE, June 29 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday imposed a dusk to dawn curfew, banned inter-city travel and cut business hours with immediate effect in response to increasing coronavirus infections.

The southern Africa nation, which has recorded more than 47,000 cases since the outbreak last year, has seen its 7-day average infection rate increasing five times to 727 compared to two weeks ago.

Mnangagwa said businesses would now open between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. while a curfew would start from 6:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. Companies would be required to only have 40% of their workforce, he said.

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The measures would be in effect for two weeks, after which they would be reviewed.

Under the level four lockdown measures, travellers to or from Zimbabwe who use fake certificates for a negative coronavirus test face jail time, Mnangagwa said.

Zimbabwe has vaccinated 764,248 people and last week the government said it was expecting 2.5 million more vaccines from China to help boost its vaccination drive. read more

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Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; editing by Grant McCool

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