SENIOR STAFF WRITER
AIR passengers infected with the lethal coronavirus (Covid-19) will be placed in mandatory detention and isolation for 14 days according to operating procedures recently gazetted by the government.
This follows a recent decision by the government to allow for the resumption of domestic and international flights on September 10 and October 1, respectively, in a bid to boost the country’s tourism sector which is expected to contract by 7,4 percent owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the new operating procedures for the aerial transport, gazetted through Statutory Instrument 239A of 2020, no passenger may board an aircraft unless he or she exhibits a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Covid-19-free certificate issued within 48 hours of boarding.
“Any passenger, whether or not exhibiting a Covid-19-free certificate issued not earlier than the previous 48 hours shall, if they present with symptoms of Covid-19, be charged a processing fee of US$60; and submit to being screened and tested for the virus, whether by use of the rapid results diagnostic test or other test approved by the minister of Health; and ordered to be detained at a holding facility until they can be tested for Covid-19 .……upon being tested shall be discharged immediately for self-quarantine at the place where they will reside in Zimbabwe or, if found to be positive, shall be ordered to be detained at a place of isolation for a period of fourteen (14) days,” reads part of the gazette.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe director of airports Tawanda Guzha recently indicated that the country’s airports had been fully capacitated to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
“Starting from the departure side we have a disinfecting booth at the entrance of the terminal building and also where we are restricting entrance to bona fide travellers and staff. We also have the disinfection of luggage that takes place as people are coming in and then at the check in point we have physical distancing signage on the floor to promote social distancing….,” Guzha said.