The president of Ghana has officially announced the opening of the Kotoka International Airport to air traffic from Tuesday, 1st September. The global pandemic forced Ghana to close its airport for 6 months to help keep the virus under control. Now that the airport will be opened to receive travellers, there has been concern about how the entire check-in and check-out processes at the airport shall be moving forward.
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Below are the guidelines set up by the government in processing travellers through the airport.
- Any passenger arriving in Ghana must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin. The test should have been done not more than seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin. All airlines have been instructed to ensure compliance with this directive for all passengers wishing to travel to Ghana, and those airlines who fail in this regard will be duly sanctioned;
- disembarking passengers must do so wearing face masks;
- upon disembarking from the aeroplane, each passenger will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee to be borne by the passenger. The test result will be available within thirty (30) minutes;
- children under the age of five (5) will not be required to undergo testing at the airport;
- passengers, who test positive for COVID-19, will be handled by the health authorities for further clinical assessment and management; and
- passengers, who test negative, can, thereupon, enter Ghana to go about their lawful activities, and will be advised to continue to observe COVID-19 safety precautions during their stay in Ghana.
The fee for the test each passenger is supposed to pay for is not yet certain. Ghana, as of 31st August 2020, has had a total of 44,205 reported cases with 42,777 reported recoveries. There have been 276 deaths of which a greater majority of them are said to have had underlying illnesses or medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and chronic liver disease. There are currently only 1,152 active cases in Ghana out of a population of over 30 million. Ghana stands as an example to the world in the fight against the COVID-19 virus and with the opening up of the borders, we can all be assured that the proper procedures will be followed.
Doing Business in Ghana
Many real estate-related deals were put on hold during the closure of the borders. So if you will be flying in to do business in Ghana, you must have an idea of how business is being done in Ghana due to the pandemic.
Washing of Hands
One of the predominant things you should see at the entrance of any establishment would be a Veronica bucket, soap and tissue paper. Washing of hands has become the order of the day and you will not be able to enter certain buildings without first washing your hands. It takes time but it is also one of the best means of combating the virus.
Wear a Mask
Wearing a face mask during these times has become a norm in Ghana. You can get a face mask to buy at almost every street corner in Accra. Not wearing a face mask in public is now considered a criminal offence punishable by law. So make sure you arrive with your face mask and keep it on when you step out into public spaces.
Sanitise your Hands
Have a sanitiser that you carry with you throughout the day and sanitise your hands as often as possible to stay neat. Use it when you handle cutlery at a restaurant or open the doors of a taxi or when you exchange money for an item you buy in town. Sanitise your hands as often as possible.
Going cashless in Ghana has become a more accepted way of life in Ghana and that makes life more accessible in these trying times. You can use a debit or credit card, in most cases, when you shop at a mall or a supermarket. But for everyday transactions like getting a haircut, or buying groceries, you can opt to use mobile money to transfer money from your mobile wallet to another person’s mobile wallet without having to touch physical money.
As much as we are free to move around in Ghana, it is also advised to limit your movement as much as possible. Some meetings can be held online through video calls and chats. Keeping your movements at a minimum will help fight this pandemic.
Limitations in Ghana due to the Pandemic
Most businesses in Ghana are back in operation and are working while observing all the COVID-19 protocols. However, beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs are still to remain closed until further notice.
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The global pandemic has had a huge effect on the entire economy of Ghana but business people still remain thriving within this since life must go on, as the saying goes. Ghana is fully open for business so if you are in search of a house to buy or an apartment to rent in Ghana, take note of all the precautionary measures above.
Whether you’re visiting or returning home to Ghana, observing the COVID-19 protocols will help ensure your stay is a healthy one. In protecting yourself, you protect your loved ones as well.