Nearly 15 000 people have been arrested by police since March this year for failing to wear face masks, in line with regulations to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
Last week, police expressed concern over an increase in the number of people who are moving around the country without wearing face masks, in violation of Covid-19 rules, especially after the relaxation of strict lockdown measures by Government recently.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi reiterated that police will not hesitate to arrest anyone found violating national lockdown regulations.
“The ZRP is warning members of the public against complacency on the current Covid-19 regulations, particularly failing to wear masks. Since March 1, 2021 to date, a total of 14 938 people have been arrested for failing to wear masks.
“From March 30, 2020 to date, a cumulative total of 499 805 people were arrested for Covid-19 related violations. On March 9, 2021, a total of 2 466 people were arrested for Covid-19 related breaches, of which 1 777 were for failing to wear masks,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi said they are concerned over the rise in the number of people arrested for failure to wear face masks.
President Mnangagwa recently reopened the economy following almost two months of strict level four lockdown, which brought most businesses to a standstill after a second and more intense wave of Covid-19 infections.
While most economic activities have been allowed to resume, including those in the informal sector, and the education sector has reopened, in phases, but under tight World Health Organisation Covid-19 protocols, social gatherings remain limited to not over 50 people and bars and nightclubs remain shut as the country keeps guard against any form of complacency.
Police have also warned citizens against using unauthorised ports of entry or exit and failing to declare their goods. On Monday, police arrested 182 people for violating the Immigration Act under Operation, “No to Cross Border Crimes/ Fhasi Ngamilandu Yamukanoni/ Mhosva Pamiganhu Ngadzipere/ Amacala Kawaphele Emingceleni Yelizwe”.
Since the onset of the operation on January 7, over 8 300 arrests have been made.