“Harnessing international skills for national development"
On Tuesday, September 1, 2020, Ghana opened its air borders to international travel. Thus, the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), which was closed to international passenger arrivals since March 21, 2020, when the country recorded its first two COVID-19 cases, has resumed operations.
In a televised address to the nation, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the reopening of the KIA was the result of the institution of a raft of measures prioritizing the health and safety of passengers, airport and airline staff.
Passengers arriving in Ghana must possess a negative COVID-19 PCR test result done 72 hours before departure from the country of origin from an accredited laboratory.
Upon disembarking, passengers will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal and the result would be available within 30 minutes. Passengers are required to pay for the test.
Passengers who returned positive test results would be referred to health authorities for further clinical assessment and management. Those who test negative would be allowed into the country. However children below the ages of five would not be required to undergo testing at the airport.
President Akufo-Addo said all airlines had been instructed to ensure compliance with the directive for all passengers wishing to travel to Ghana. Airlines who failed to observe those set of rules would be duly sanctioned, he warned. The country’s land and sea, borders, however, remain closed to human traffic until further notice.
Ahead of the resumption of operations, Ghana’s Ministry of Aviation, in partnership with Zoomlion Ghana Limited (ZGL) disinfected and fumigated the KIA and its open spaces. The disinfection and fumigation exercises were meant to ensure that the facility was safe for users.
General Manager, Vector Control at ZGL, Rev. Ebenezer Kwame Addae, told journalists that the disinfection, which was the second at KIA, had dislodged all traces of the virus in the airport environment. He said the first disinfection was targeted at curbing the spread of the virus, while the second was aimed at destroying every virus that could possibly be hiding within the airport environment. Rev. Addae said besides those two exercises, regular disinfections would be carried out in three phases at the KIA.
The Minister of Aviation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, said the government had put in place adequate safety measures at the KIA to protect passengers and staff members from the virus. A deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye reaffirmed that the country had put adequate measures in place to detect possible COVID-19 cases at the airport. He stressed that the measures would help prevent any infected person from slipping through the radar.