Health and Safety
Covid -19 Advice For Travellers Arriving to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe has relaxed lockdown measures allowing the country’s tourism sector to resume full operations. These include but are not limited to: game drives, bungee jumping, zip liners, helicopter rides, lion walks, elephant rides, boat operations on our lakes both for tourism and fishing (and other tourism related activities) and all registered tourism activities. The resumption of the sector is guided by strict adherence to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Covid-19 health and safety protocols as well as guidelines set by the Government of Zimbabwe.
Food establishments that include restaurants and take-aways are open for delivery and collection of food. Sit-down meals are allowed with strict following of social distancing measures and other health and safety guidelines. All restaurants registered to sell liquor are only permitted to sell liquor for takeout during their authorized operating hours. Currently a curfew is in effect from 10:30 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
Conferences and meetings remain at less than 50 people unless the gathering is through electronic platforms.
The country’s skies have been opened to both domestic and international flights respectively. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been put in place for the reopening of international and domestic airports. The National Guidelines for Aviation Safety and Security have been set to ensure the safety of both the travellers and airport staff. These are additional to temperature testing, social distancing, sanitization, and mandatory wearing of masks. All travellers will be required to have a PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure, in line with WHO guidelines. Those who test positive for COVID-19 upon arrival must quarantine at a government-appointed facility for 14 days or private quarantine centers. Persons departing the country must present a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 48 hours of departure.
All passengers shall:
- wear masks except when eating
- always disinfect toilet facilities after use
- regularly hand sanitize themselves during flights
- restrict movements while on board
- cover mouth when sneezing
- report to cabin crew or airport staff any COVID 19 related symptoms and
- practice high level hygiene
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Ports of entry
The countries land borders remain closed until COVID-19 restrictions have been further relaxed unless it’s for cleared cargo purposes and returning residents. Those who are PCR negative on arrival will no longer be required to meet a 7 day mandatory quarantine period in Government facilities but are allowed to self-quarantine at home with reviews conducted by the Rapid Response Teams in the locality
As Zimbabwe, we are assertive that once the COVID-19 health and safety protocols are observed, the travel and tourism sector will effectively carry out its operations.
Don’t underestimate the sun
Sunstroke and heatstroke are common conditions for new visitors to Africa. Zimbabwe does not have a very humid climate, but it is more tolerable than in other tropical countries, so it can be easy to forget how long you’ve been out in the direct sunlight. Avoid getting sun burn by staying well hydrated throughout the day with water, wear shades and sun hats or caps.
Take precautions against malaria
Malaria is present in certain areas of Zimbabwe at certain times of the year, so visit your doctor or travel clinic to discuss prophylactics (prevention), ideally 2 months before you go.
Malaria transmission areas and seasons: Central regions of Zimbabwe such as Harare and Bulawayo have extremely low malaria transmission rates, as shown in the map below. This means that if you are only visiting Harare or Bulawayo, the likelihood of contracting malaria is very low. In Victoria Falls, Nyanga, Kariba, Gonarezhou and Mana Pools, malaria transmission rates are higher.
The malaria transmission season lasts for about 4 months each year. As shown in the image below, the normal Zimbabwe malaria transmission months are between December and April each year. Most tourists to Zimbabwe visit between June and August.
Pack a small first-aid kit
Buy some basic medical items such as plasters, ibuprofen, paracetamol, Immodium, tweezers, after-sun cream, cream to relieve insect bites and stings, antiseptic cream, any eyecare essentials, etc, and pack these in your luggage. If you’re prone to hay fever, remember to bring antihistamines, too. Make sure you have enough prescribed medication to last the duration of your holiday, as local pharmacies may not be able to provide certain drugs without prior arrangement.
Zimbabwe is not a yellow fever zone
Zimbabwe is not a yellow fever zone, as you can see from the WHO map below. This means you do not need a yellow fever vaccination to visit Zimbabwe. However, if you are travelling into Zimbabwe from a country that does have yellow fever, you will need to display a vaccination certificate when you enter Zimbabwe.
Buy travel insurance
It is highly advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies. Carry copies of your medical insurance in your car and handbag. If anything happens that requires you to go to hospital in Harare or to be airlifted to Johannesburg, your medical insurance certificate will be required.
Check the vaccination requirements
Diseases like meningitis, pertussis (whooping cough), measles and polio are serious no matter where you are in the world, and vaccination is the best way of preventing them. Ensure you are up to date with immunisation schedules before you travel.