Anyone in Zimbabwe found not wearing a face mask in public places during the recently extended Covid-19 nationwide lockdown is now subject to arrest.

This follows President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s announcement that all citizens are now required to wear face masks in public places, as part of the country’s drastic measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Mnangagwa on Friday announced the extension of the Covid-19 induced lockdown period by a further 14 days but downgraded it to Level Two, which entails among other guidelines that all people must wear face masks of any type in public places. Even home-made cloth ones are allowed.

President Mnangagwa also announced the reopening of industry and commerce but under strict restrictions, provided that companies ensure mandatory screening and testing. During the partial lockdown businesses will only be allowed to operate from 8 am to 3 pm.

Mnangagwa also said that the extension and relaxation of some sectors is a fine balance between preserving people’s lives and trying to sustain the country’s economy which has suffered a slump, due to the abrupt lockdown which meant there was neither production nor generation of income.

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