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Zimbabwe Reopens Airports For Domestic, International Flights

By Daniel Jones, Harare

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A few days after re-opening the tourism industry and allowing activities to resume, Zimbabwe government has given green light to domestic and international flights to recommence.

Travelers will however be required to produce Covid-19 test certificates as flights resume this Thursday.

Airlines cancelled flights in March when most countries-imposed ban on international travel as they adopted national lockdowns leaving the sector crippled.

Tourism and aviation industries are some of the economic sectors hard hit by the pandemic with workers from both either losing jobs or being sent on unpaid leave in most cases.

Flights that operated in Zimbabwe include the local airliner Air Zimbabwe, Air Namibia, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airways, British Airways (ComAir), South African Airway and Air Link.

Speaking during a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Covid-19 clearance is a pre-requisite.

“Domestic and international flights will resume on 10 September and 1 October respectively. All travelers will be required to have a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) Covid-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

The challenge now is on airlines getting passengers especially with most countries still under lockdown.

Zimbabwe is currently still under national lockdown with intercity travelling still prohibited.

The country’s tourism industry expects a drop in arrivals because of the pandemic with arrivals expected to falls from around 2.5 million per annum recorded in 2018 to around 900 000 for 2020.

Tourism is one of the four key economic pillars in Zimbabwe alongside agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

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