Ghana’s air borders likely to be opened as Akufo-Addo presents 16th coronavirus addresses today

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Ghana’s air borders are likely to be opened from Tuesday, September 1, 2020, as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addresses the nation tonight.

The address on Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm will be the President’s 16th update on measures the country is taking to hold the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Speculations are rife that the President will announce a further easing of the restrictions introduced to fight virus in Ghana.

The speculations are informed by the contents of the President’s 15th address to the nation on August 16, 2020, which, among other things, indicated that the government was working to re-open Ghana’s borders depending on the country’s ability to ensure that every passenger who arrives in Ghana is tested for COVID-19.

He said the government was hoping that by September 1, 2020, the assessment of the readiness to test all passengers would have been completed to enable the borders to re-open.

“I know many still ask whether our borders, especially our international airport, Kotoka International Airport will be opened.

“Under my instructions the Ministry of Aviation, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) have been working with the Ministry of Health and its agencies to ascertain our readiness to re-open our airport.”

“I want to ensure that we are in a position to test every single passenger who arrives in the country to avoid the spread of the virus. The outcome of that exercise will show us the way and determine when we can re-open our border by air.

“I’m hoping that by God’s grace we will be ready to do so by the 1st of September [2020]. Until further notice, our borders by air, land and sea remain closed to human traffic,” President Akufo-Addo said.

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Meanwhile, the Ghana Health Service announced over during the past week that as part of the preparations towards the opening of the Kotoka International Airport for the resumption of international airline operations, arriving passengers will be required to take an Antigen test.

Passengers will be required to take this test at any of the over 70 sampling collection booths set-up at the upper level of the Arrival Hall with the results expected to be ready between 12-15 minutes.

“A state-of-the-art laboratory, which is being set-up at the upper level of the Arrival Hall to process the samples, will transmit the results electronically to the port health stations in the main arrival hall before a passenger gets there.

“All passengers with negative Antigen tests will then be cleared by Port Health to Proceed to the immigration counter and admitted into Ghana,” according to a report by Business24.

According to the GHS, passengers with positive Antigen tests will be handed over by port health authorities to health professionals stationed at the facility to be transported to treatment or isolation centres.

By this arrangement, all arriving passengers who test negative will not bear the additional burden of an expensive 14-day quarantine, as has been the case with the many repatriation flights undertaken within the past few months.

Passengers are, however, expected to bear the cost of the Antigen test estimated to be between GH¢200 to GH¢400.

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