No PCR tests for vaccinated travellers – President Akufo-Addo
From Monday, March 28, fully vaccinated travellers will be allowed entry into the country without a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result from the country of origin.
This was made known by President Nana Akufo-Addo, in his 28th address, on the measures taken to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
In line with this directive, Ghana’s foreign missions have been instructed to make vaccination a requirement for visa acquisition.
President Akufo-Addo attributed the eased restrictions on the reduced number of active cases in the country and the significant number of vaccinations.
In September 2020, the government engaged Frontiers Healthcare Solution Limited to conduct rapid COVID-19 tests at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
This followed the reopening of the airport to international passenger flights.
The 30-minute PCR COVID-19 test initially attracted a $150 fee but was subsequently reviewed after a series of agitations due to the high charges.
While the amount was maintained for non-ECOWAS citizens, those from any of the West African countries were to pay $50 for such services.
Recently, former President John Dramani Mahama also made a similar call when he asked that the government should stop the $50 compulsory PCR test for travellers who have been vaccinated.
He lamented in a Facebook post on Saturday, March 19, recounting his experience after travelling to the United Kingdom.
“It is a most unfortunate situation that Ghanaians who have valid vaccination certificates cannot board flights back home without a £90 PCR test and an additional $50 PCR test booking in Accra.
“Government must stop the $50 compulsory PCR test for travellers who have been vaccinated. And must also stop the demand for originating PCR tests before the same category of travellers are allowed to board flights to Ghana.
“The reason for UK rolling back its COVID-19 restrictions is that deaths are down and severe cases requiring intensive care are down, and besides, they believe it’s time to learn to live with Covid,” he stressed.
Following their 2020 Flagbearer’s call for the charges to be dropped, the Minority in Parliament had the same request.
They threatened a series of demonstrations at the Kotoka International Airport come Wednesday, March 30, if the mandatory COVID-19 testing at the airport was not made free.
Other restrictions eased by President Nana Akufo-Addo
In addition to the cancellation of PCR tests, President Akufo-Addo also announced the reopening of all land and sea borders.
Ghana’s borders were closed in March 2020 when the country recorded its first cases of COVID-19.
The decision was part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel virus, but cargo was allowed into the country.
Additionally, wearing face masks in public places is now optional as public events are now allowed with full capacity.
“All outdoor functions such as sporting events, entertainment spots, political rallies and funerals may resume at full capacity. Again, as long as all persons at these events are fully vaccinated”.
“Handwashing and hand sanitizing points should be made available at these venues,” President Akufo-Addo urged.