The Ghanaian government is preparing for the reopening of international travel from tomorrow, September 1st. Following five months of closure, President Akufo-Addo is now confident that the coronavirus is under control and that it is safe to reopen Ghana’s borders. Incoming passengers will be required to present a negative COVID test on arrival, as well as having a test in the terminal.
Following five months of lockdown, Ghana is finally gearing up to welcome visitors from overseas. Joining other African nations, including Ethiopia, Egypt and Senegal, Ghana’s airport arrivals will be allowed from tomorrow, September 1st, but with a number of measures in place.
In a televised address to the nation yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said,
“I am glad to announce that KIA will reopen and resume operations from Tuesday, September 1, 2020. This decision has been communicated to international airlines across the world. After weeks of thorough work, I am satisfied that it is safe to do so.”
A number of measures have been put in place to prevent imported cases of COVID-19 arriving in Ghana. These include mandatory facemasks on disembarking the aircraft and being in possession of a negative PCR test before boarding the plane. This must have been done no more than 72 hours before flying, and the passenger will be tested again at the airport on arrival.
Ghana has recorded a total of 44,398 cases of coronavirus but has only 1,159 active cases right now. 276 people have died. Although the air borders are opening tomorrow, land and sea borders remain closed for the time being. Primary school-aged children are staying home from classes until January, but some secondary school children will be allowed back from October onwards.
Negative PCR test required
In preparation for the return of international travelers, Ghana’s international travel hub Kotoka International Airport has moved to set up rapid COVID testing facilities. All arrivals will be required to take a PCR test, for which the airport has set up more than 70 sample collection booths in the upper level of the arrival hall.
Airport officials say that results of the test will be available within 15 minutes. The on-site laboratory will process the sample and send it electronically to the main arrivals hall before the passenger even gets there.
Those testing negative will be cleared to enter Ghana. Those testing positive will be transported to isolation centers or treatment facilities as required. Dealing with arrivals in this manner ensures not everyone has to enter mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival.Advertisement:
The only downside to this strategy is that the passenger has to bear the cost of the COVID test. This is estimated to fall between GH¢200 and GH¢400 ($35 – $70). However, it’s a small price to pay to avoid mandatory and often expensive quarantine.