Photos: Kotoka Airport Receives First Passengers After Re-Opening

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Yesterday, September 1, 2020 the Kotoka International Airport received about 200 passengers arriving on three (3) separate flights since President Nana Addo announced the reopening of Ghana’s Airport. This comes on the heels of the recent certification of Ghana as a #SafeTravels destination by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

As announced earlier, passengers went through to COVID-19 tests at the Upper Arrival section of Kotoka International Airport (KIA) where 70 cubicles had been set-up to test passengers for COVID-19. Passengers were seen going through the process smoothly without hitches.
At the main Arrival Hall, the demarcation was also in place to allow for social distancing amongst arriving travelers.

One of the latest addition to the processes at the airport is the introduction of automated Health declaration forms for passenger use. Passengers could be seen keying-in Health details on electronic systems provided as part of the processes.
With these initial flights, it is expected that the numbers will increase stemming from the increase in demand for Ghanaian Visas at some of the Embassies and Consulates for Beyond The Return and December In Ghana.
Also, departing Accra yesterday were two private jets and Tap Portugal Airlines where passengers observed COVID-19 protocols put in place.
At the airport yesterday were members of the Ghana Airports Company Limited Board led by the Chairperson, Madam Oboshie Sai Cofie and officials of the Ministries of Health, Aviation, Ghana Health Service and Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to observe the facilitation process.

Ghana’s International Air Borders Opens September 1, 2020

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President Nana Akufo-Addo, in his sixteenth update on enhanced measures to defeat the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, announced the reopening of the country’s borders by air.   After several weeks of thorough work, the president said he was satisfied that it was safe to open. “I’m glad to announce that Kotoka International Airport will reopen and resume operations from Tuesday 1st September 2020,” he said in his address to the nation.

 

All international airlines have been informed and briefed on the protocols that have been put in place to keep the country’s continued proactive measures against the spread of the virus.  It was noted that the first few cases were imported from travellers arriving in Ghana and that the country will remain vigilant to prevent this from happening again.

 

There have been protocols put in place to maintain Ghana’s dedication to prevent new importations of the virus with the open borders.    Any passenger arriving in Ghana must have a copy of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in their country of origin.  They must have completed the test within 72 hours of travel.  All arriving passengers in Ghana must we wearing face masks as they disembark, and they will undergo mandatory Covid-19 testing at the airport terminal.  The fees for the test would be the responsibility of the passenger.  Results would be available within 30 minutes and those who test negative are free to go to their destination and must observe all covid-19 precautionary measures.  Those who test positive would be handled by health authorities.

 

Ghana’s borders have been closed since March leaving many travellers stuck both in and out of the country.  There are also several diasporans who had trips planned to Ghana that were cancelled or postponed. Many of them have been anticipating the reopening of Ghana’s borders. The border reopening is welcome news to those who have been anxious to either leave or return to Ghana.  The president added that borders by land and sea are still closed to human traffic until further notice.

COVID-19 guidelines released ahead of reopening of airport on Sept 1

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The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has written to the management of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) detailing safety protocols for the resumption of international air travel amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Authorities of the health management body say they have identified overcrowding as one of the major factors contributing to the spread of the virus hence the instituted measures to stem the rate of infection during the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on flight travel.

The GHS says in view of this, the Ghana Airports Company Limited must demonstrate it would not be a place for the transmission of the virus.

Key amongst the four measures is for the airport management to ensure that there is no form of congestion at the facility while ensuring strict adherence to social distancing and compulsory wearing of face masks protocols.

Below are the measures the GHS has ordered KIA to put in place:

1.  Ensure there is no congestion at all sections of the airport (arrival, departure and environs) to fail adherence to social distancing protocols.
2. Compulsory mask wearing for all passengers (both arriving and departing) as well as staff
3. Temperature monitoring to continue at both arrival and departure terminals
4. Ensure social distancing and compulsory mask-wearing at the car parks and in front of all terminals.

Ghana Health Service is hopeful should these measures be operationalized and strictly adhered to, the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission at the Kotoka International Airport as a result of the reopening of the country’s air border will be minimal.

It has also assured the airport management of its highest form of cooperation to “develop the enabling protocols for ensuring passengers and staff safety.”

Recently, President  Akufo-Addo hinted the country is preparing to reopen its airports to human traffic.

According to the president, he has instructed the Ministry of Aviation, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and the Ghana Airports Company Limited to work with the Ministry of Health and its agencies, to ascertain the country’s readiness to reopen the airport.

Already, the GHS has said it was engaging various stakeholders to come up with modalities to ensure all persons who arrive in the country are tested for COVID-19 ahead of the possible opening of air borders in September.

Ghana’s air, sea and land borders were closed on Sunday, March 22, 2020, as part of efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The closure left thousands of Ghanaians who have consistently appealed for help over the last few months stranded abroad.

The President reminded Ghanaians that “special dispensation will continue to be given for their evacuation back to Ghana.”

But the government’s pre-condition for evacuation was that the stranded citizens bear the full cost of their ticket 14-day mandatory quarantine when they arrive in the country because of the threat of the novel coronavirus.

In some instances, the government has subsidized the cost of travel and quarantine.

Source: citinewsroom