In Update No.15, the President of Ghana announced the easing of restrictions in some areas of national life. He also indicated the hope that preparations and simulation exercises were underway, including the installation of COVID-19 testing facilities at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), to help in the decision whether or not to re-open the airport on 1st September.
After weeks of thorough work, "I am satisfied that it is safe to do so".
KIA was closed to international passenger traffic about five months ago as part of the restrictions to curb the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID 19).
In his update no. 16 to the nation, President Akufo-Addo has announced that, government has decided to re-open the airport because public health officials can now conduct rapid tests to enable the isolation of passengers who might arrive in the country with the novel coronavirus.
"I am glad to announce that Kotoka International Airport will reopen and resume operations from Tuesday, 1st September 2020. This decision has been communicated to international airlines". - he said
"It has been well-established that the very first cases of COVID-19 in Ghana were imported into our shores. We are determined to make sure this scenario does not recur. The commitment to ensuring that the gradual easing of restrictions, including the reopening of our airports, does not lead to the importation or resurgence of the virus into our country, is firmly in place". he said
These are the following measures that has been taken and duly communicated to airlines wishing to resume flights to Ghana:
a) Any passenger arriving in Ghana must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin. The test should have been done not more than seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin. All airlines have been instructed to ensure compliance with this directive for all passengers wishing to travel to Ghana, and those airlines who fail in this regard will be duly sanctioned;
b) Disembarking passengers must do so wearing face masks;
c) Upon disembarking from the aeroplane, each passenger will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee to be borne by the passenger. The test result will be available within thirty (30) minutes;
d) Children under the ages of five (5) will not be required to undergo testing at the airport;
e) Passengers, who test positive for COVID-19, will be handled by the health authorities for further clinical assessment and management; and
f) Passengers, who test negative, can, thereupon, enter Ghana to go about their lawful activities, and will be advised to continue to observe COVID-19 safety precautions during their stay in Ghana.
The Ministries of Information, Health and Aviation, and their respective agencies – the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana Airports Co. Ltd., and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority – will spell out in further detail the protocols surrounding the re-opening of the international airport, and the procedures to be adhered to by passengers arriving in Ghana at the COVID-19 media briefing tomorrow, Monday, 31st August.
He also said that, "For the avoidance of doubt, our borders, by land and sea, will continue to remain closed to human traffic until further notice".