Billions go into lockdown

Zimbabweans are part of billions of people around the world who are hunkering down, as the second wave of the coronavirus is causing more deaths and infections.

Countries in the region and across the world have tightened restrictions in recent weeks to prevent the spread of the virus and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by sick patients.Below are some of the countries that have reintroduced tighter measures to contain the scourge.

South Africa

After coronavirus infections spiralled to more than one million and deaths topped 27 000 in December, South Africa decided to tighten the screws on December 28, 2020 by reverting to Level Three lockdown. The measures involve a 9pm to 6pm curfew. Businesses are now expected to close at 8pm. The need to wear masks was re-emphasised, while night clubs; swimming pools (except for professional training); bars, taverns and shebeens; public parks, including facilities there, where there is no access control; beaches, parks and dams in hotspot areas were closed.

Attendance at funerals was limited to 50.


All gatherings, including faith-based gatherings, were banned for 14 days.

Alcohol sales for both on-site and off-site consumption were banned.

However, hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts and resorts were allowed to take full capacity of available rooms for accommodation.


Cases of the coronavirus, including deaths, also soared in Rwanda, particularly in December, which accounted for half of the total deaths.

On January 5, Kigali resultantly decided to prohibit movements from 8pm to 4am. All businesses were ordered to close at 6pm.

Public and private transport to and from Kigali, as well as between different districts, was discontinued.

Public and private institutions are expected to operate at no more than 30 percent of staff.

All social gatherings were prohibited.

Attendance at funerals were restricted to 30.The measures will be reviewed after 14 days.



Scotland went into full lockdown on January 4.

Schools will remain closed for the rest of January. People are not allowed to leave their homes except for essential goods only. People are only allowed to go out to work if it absolutely cannot be done from home. All pubs, restaurants and cafes will remain closed. Face masks are mandatory. Further, people are not allowed to travel outside their local authority area for anything other than essential reasons. Schools will only start the new term on January 11, but only via online and remote learning.

Northern Ireland and Wales are also in lockdown.


The UK announced its third lockdown on January 4. Under the new measures, people cannot leave their homes except for essential goods and services.

All schools and colleges were closed, with remote learning until February half-term. End-of-year exams were suspended. University students were barred from returning to campuses and will be taught online.  Restaurants will continue to offer food delivery, but takeaway alcohol will be banned. Outdoor sports venues – such as golf courses, tennis courts and outside gyms – were closed.

The measures will last at least six weeks.