Travel exemption letters a COVID19 risk

Article by Khethiwe Mathuthu

On the 21st of July, the President announced new lock-down regulations and among those regulations he stated that where travel is essential, full requirements and regulations must be followed. Wearing masks, hygiene and social distancing. Full requirements referring to travel letter (pass) one has to carry when going to town. Following these new measures, the police have been very strict on road blocks, checking exemption letters and sending back home those that doesn’t have any. Where as its a great initiative that people only go to town when necessary, it has also brought concerns and uncertainty among some citizens.

YIT spoke to a few that have letters exempting them to go town and they raised a few concerns, especially on the process of checking letters in road blocks. One common concerns was how the police go about in their routine. They stated that the police don’t sanitize in between checking each and every letter, moreover there is no social distancing practiced in those queues which is something the health care system emphasized on to try and curb the virus. Also when found without a pass, it is said that if not returned home, citizens are gathered in one place, waiting to be taken to the police station to pay a fine of 500RTGS, which is also a red flag.

Do they sanitize them when taking them to the police station? Is social distancing practiced? One citizen stated that people are more at risk of contracting the virus in those queues and conditions than anywhere else because social distancing is not practiced, she stated that ever since this routine started, she hasn’t seen the police or passengers sanitizing in between the exchange of letters. Some citizens also complained that the routine takes forever, and one ends up getting to town later than they expected and not finishing all their tasks, what with the curfew and queues in ZUPCO lines. Question is; Are exemption letters a GOOD move or a health risk?

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