IF you’re planning to travel to Ghana, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.
Ghana reopened to international flights last September. However, land and sea borders remain closed. All visitors must have proof of a negative test and take a further test on arrival.
What’s on offer
Ghana may be blessed with some of West Africa’s finest beaches, but it’s so much more than a place to sunbathe. Its coastal forts offer an unflinching insight into the slave trade which was run by the British from these shores. The rambling Kejetia Market (picture), in Kumasi, in the Ashanti region, is said to be the largest in this part of the continent, selling everything from jewellery to footwear. In the north, Mole National Park is the ideal place to see some of Africa’s most famous animals, including elephants, hippos and warthogs.
Who can go
All visitors are now allowed into Ghana via Accra, as long as they have a negative test or undertake a second test on arrival at Kotoka International Airport.
What are the restrictions?
Unless they are Ghanaian residents who are returning to the country after having been away for one week or less, all passengers aged five and over must have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and also undertake an additional antigen test on arrival.
This costs $50 per passenger for Ghanaians and citizens of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and $150 for everyone else, with results available within 30 minutes. Payment must be made online prior to boarding the flight to Ghana.
Ghanaian residents who have left Ghana for one week or less do not need to present a negative PCR test for departure, but still have to undertake the mandatory antigen test on arrival.
Anyone testing positive on arrival will immediately be transferred to hospital for further assessment. Non-residents required to isolate in a government health facility must do so at their own cost, while for Ghanaians the cost will be covered by the state.
All passengers must complete an online health declaration form and may be asked to do so again on board before landing.
What’s the Covid situation?
On February 24, Ghana became the first country to receive Covid-19 vaccines through the World Health Organisation’s Covax programme. A shipment of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines was delivered to Accra.
Ghana had registered 90,287 cases of Covid-19 and 740 deaths as of March 30.
Last year, the country was lauded for its response and the way it kept numbers down. The beginning of 2021 saw a sharp rise in Covid-19 infection rates, including new strains of the virus, but numbers have now dropped.
What can visitors expect?
Masks are mandatory in public and when using public transit — not wearing one is an arrestable offense. This includes in places such as markets and car parks.
US music legend Stevie Wonder announced to Oprah Winfrey in February 2021 that he intended to move to Ghana.