Africa COVID19 Headline News World News

COVID-19: Ghana implements travel restrictions

Ghana is demanding that all adult travelers arriving in the country provide proof of full vaccination, effective from midnight 12 December.

Ghanaian citizens and residents abroad are exempt for up to two weeks but will be required to get jabbed upon landing at the airport.

The authorities say they are concerned about a surge of infections over the festive period.

These measures appear to be some of the strictest in the world.

Many other countries have avoided an outright blanket ban on unvaccinated arrivals, such as members of the European Union and the United States.

Unvaccinated travelers are often given the option of self-isolating on arrival.

Land Borders Remain Closed – Akufo-Addo

Ghana’s land and sea borders have been closed to passenger traffic since restrictions were first introduced at the start of the pandemic.

Alongside the new measures, Ghanaian authorities will also still insist that all arrivals present a negative PCR test.

All Ghanaians flying out of the country will also need to be fully vaccinated.

This means that a Ghanaian national who is not currently vaccinated but gets a jab at the airport would have to wait until getting a second dose before they were able to fly out unless they got a Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends an eight- to 12-week gap between the first and second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and a 21- to 28-day gap between the two Pfizer shots. The Moderna and Sputnik V also require two doses for maximum immunity.

Less than 10% of Ghana’s population have currently been vaccinated.

Ghana’s authorities have expressed concern about the low vaccination rates and they are particularly worried about the new Omicron variant among international arrivals.

The head of the Ghana Health Service, Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said in a statement “The expected increase during the festive season calls for urgent actions to prevent a major surge in Covid-19 cases in Ghana,”.

He said that over the last two weeks, cases detected at Ghana’s main airport, Kotoka, accounted for about 60% of all confirmed Covid cases in the country.

The authorities plan to ramp up efforts to immunize the population in January, by making it compulsory for government employees, students and health workers to get the vaccine.

Vaccine passports will also be required to enter venues with large crowds like nightclubs and sports stadiums.

Since the start of the pandemic, Ghana has reported 131,246 cases and 1,228 Covid fatalities.

Write-up by Tola Oguneye