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ZTA commends tourism recovery efforts in the midst of COVID-19

Mr. Godfrey "Chief' Koti

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has commended the Ministries of Health and Child Care; Local Government; Finance and Economic Development; Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry; the Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe as well as Government at large for their efforts and commitment towards the recovery of the Tourism Industry.

The authority reminded operators in the Tourism and Hospitality sector that following the publication of SI 099 of 2020, all formal businesses were allowed to resume operations following the national lockdown while abiding by the set requirements to operate under level 2 of the lockdown.

Further relaxation of the lockdown regulations was granted through SI 160 of 2020, whereby sit-in guests in restaurants were allowed. The government went further to approve the COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector, which have been circulated to all operators.

As the sector gradually and partially reopens, the ZTA stressed the need for all players in the tourism industry to strictly observe and adhere to the set COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.

“These guidelines are meant to protect both the sector’s most valued human capital and consumers of tourism services from COVID-19 risk exposure.

“In a bid to curb the spread and effects of the Coronavirus, the ZTA urges all tourism operators and consumers of tourism products and services to always adhere to the safety and health protocols. These protocols must be implemented and observed by all the relevant tourism sub-sectors without exception,” said Mr. Godfrey Koti, the ZTA Head of Corporate Affairs.

In order to complement Government efforts in containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which has recently been on the increase, the authority said it is important that both business and consumers play their part.

“It has however come to the attention of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority with great concern that some operators are not following the guidelines and protocols as well as the conditions set out in the above mentioned statutory instruments. Operators are advised that the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority regulatory and quality assurance team, in conjunction with the relevant arms of Government, will be rigorously monitoring and enforcing compliance. The exercise will be ongoing throughout the lockdown period to ensure full compliance and will cover the whole country,” Mr. Koti said

Accordingly, tourism operators and consumers of tourism products and services were urged to comply with the approved general guidelines for the tourism industry as any breach will leave the Authorities with no other option than to close those operations found in breach.

For emphasis, ZTA said, all operators should ensure that at all designated tourism facilities staff and consumers alike among other measures:

  • undertake temperature checks
  • maintain social distancing
  • sanitize as appropriate
  • wash their hands
  • wear face masks appropriately
  • maintain high hygienic standards
  • Adhere to the approved operating hours

The violation of the guidelines will not only frustrate but also undermine the efforts being made to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende