Ghana re-opens its airport to international traffic

Government has re-opened the Kotoka International Airport to international passenger traffic, after three months of closure.

The airport was closed to international passenger traffic about five months ago as part of restrictions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Delivering his 16th address to the nation since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Akufo-Addo 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.

“After weeks of thorough work, I am satisfied that it is safe to do so,” he said.

He said passengers must be in possession of negative Covid-19 test result and test should have been done not more than 72 hours before the scheduled time of the flight.

Two weeks ago when he addressed the nation, the President said there were ongoing stakeholders engagements on measures to be put in place to assure a safe re-opening of the country’ borders.

Last Thursday, the Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda told journalists his outfit will embark on an inspection of the Kotoka International Airport to determine the country’s preparedness towards a potential reopening on September 1st.

FILE PHOTO: A health worker checks the temperature of a traveller as part of the coronavirus screening procedure at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko/File Photo – RC2EUE9X5YKK

According to him, the inspection will comprise the testing of the airport’s equipment and a well laid out plan to ensure protocols are adhered to.

“We are working quite hard and the Ghana Airport Company is working with the service providers who are going to help us with the testing and the implementation of the protocols”, he said.

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research of the University of Ghana has already tested the potency of a Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Detection kit.

The kit is to be used for testing international passengers when they arrive at the Kotoka International Airport and other ports of entry.

JoyNews understands that preliminary COVID-19 safety protocols require departing travellers to show proof of a negative PCR test before being allowed to access the departure hall of Terminal 3, which is used for international operations, and to undergo temperature checks at the entrance and wear face masks throughout their pre-departure formalities.

Passengers arriving in the country will be required to take the rapid test at the upper arrival section of KIA’s Terminal 3.

The PCR test may take up to 30 minutes for the result of a test to be known. The passenger is also required to bear the cost of the Covid-19 test, estimated at between ¢250-¢500.

The testing will eliminate the need for arriving passengers to be quarantined in hotels, which has been described as too costly for both the government and individual passengers to bear.

Source: Myjoyonline

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