Zimbabwe bans New Year crossover prayer meetings

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwean police have banned all-night prayer meetings and New Year crossover sermons as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Police spokesman Paul Nyathi said churches should abide by the current 9pm-6am (1900 GMT-0400 GMT) curfew and avoid holding meetings that go beyond 9pm. 

“Police will therefore enforce the curfew order, and anyone who violates it risks being arrested. There are no all-night prayers, all-night gatherings, crossover sermons that will be allowed this year,” Nyathi said in a statement on Monday.

The ban would also affect New Year’s Eve festivities by curtailing movement of revellers from one place to another.

Nyathi urged Zimbabweans not to “get over-excited” by engaging in activities that are super-spreaders of the pandemic. 

“They must limit their travels and stay at home.”

Zimbabwe has experienced a surge in COVID-19 infections since the end of November when the Omicron variant was first reported in the southern African region.


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