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.

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

100% Of Global Destinations Now Have Covid-19 Travel Restrictions – UNWTO Report

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The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted all destinations worldwide to introduce restrictions on travel, research by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has found. This represents the most severe restriction on international travel in history and no country has so far lifted restrictions introduced in response to the crisis.

 

Following up on previous research, the latest data from the United Nations specialized agency for tourism shows that 100% of destinations now have restrictions in place. Of these, 83% have had COVID-19-related restrictions in place already for four or more weeks and, as of 20 April, so far no destination has lifted them.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism has shown its commitment to putting people first. Our sector can also lead the way in driving recovery. This research on global travel restrictions will help support the timely and responsible implementation of exit strategies, allowing destinations to ease or lift travel restrictions when it is safe to do so. This way, the social and economic benefits that tourism offers can return, providing a path to sustainable recovery for both individuals and whole countries.”

Tracking Restrictions by Time and Severity

The social and economic benefits that tourism offers can return, providing a path to sustainable recovery for both individuals and whole countries.

As well as a general overview, the UNWTO research breaks down the type of travel restrictions that have been introduced by destinations in all of the global regions, while also plotting the evolution of these restrictions since 30 January – when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The latest analysis shows that, of 217 destinations worldwide:

  • 45% have totally or partially closed their borders for tourists – “Passengers are not allowed to enter”
  • 30% have suspended totally or partially international flights – “all flights are suspended”
  • 18% are banning the entry for passengers from specific countries of origin or passengers who have transited through specific destinations
  • 7% are applying different measures, such as quarantine or self-isolation for 14 days and visa measures.

Against this backdrop, UNWTO has been leading calls for governments worldwide to commit to supporting tourism through this unprecedented challenge. According to Secretary-General Pololikashvili, the sudden and unexpected fall in tourism demand caused by COVID-19 places millions of jobs and livelihoods at risk while at the same time jeopardising the advances made in sustainable development and equality over recent years.

 

Click to view full report

 

Source: UNWTO

Tourism Joint Committee On COVID-19 Presents Report To Minister Of Tourism

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A joint committee of GTA and GHATOF that was set up by the CEO of GTA , Mr. Akwasi Agyeman to look at the impact of COVID-19 on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry and also recommend ways to improve the industry post COVID- 19 have submiited their report to the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

This Committee was Chaired by the Deputy CEO in charge of Operations, Mr Ekow Sampson with the following as members:

Madam Bella Ahu, President of GHATOF
Mrs Stella Appenteng, Managing Director, ApstarsTours
Mrs Roberta Dawson-Amoah, GTA
Mrs Betty Kobi,GTA
Mr Ben Anane Nsiah,GTA
Mr Spencer Doku, GTA
Dr. Edward Ackah- Nyamike Jnr., President of Ghana Hotels Association(GHA)
Mr. Kwesi Eyison, President of Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA)
Mr. Emmanuel Frimpong, Executive Secretary, GHATOF.

Tourism Ministry and Ghana Tourism Authority Donate PPE’s to Industry Players

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The Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Hon. Mrs. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi today, 23rd April 2020 on behalf of the government of Ghana has made its 4th donation of essential equipment to fight against COVID-19 to the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) and tourism industry players.

 

Today’s donation was made to Travel Trade Associations under GHATOF being Traditional Caterers Association, Indigenous Caterers Association, Ghana National Association of Drinking Bars (GHABOA), and the National Drinking Bar Association (NADBOA).

Items donated include 2000 pieces of Veronica buckets, 2000 plastic handwashing bowls, 24 boxes of hand sanitizers, 80 boxes of nose masks, 10,000 pieces of hand gloves, 32 boxes of liquid soaps, 160 packs of tissue paper.

Chefs Association launch project ‘Cooking to save lives’ to feed frontlines fighting COVID-19

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The Chefs Association has launched a project to feed frontlines fighting against COVID-19. this was made known at a presentation at the Accra Tourist Information Centre. Chefs Association has set up four (4) industrial kitchens to cook for front-line staff fighting COVID-19.

Chefs Association has pledged to provide 1,000 packs of food for the next 2 weeks. Chef Issac, President of the Association said that the project “Cooking to Save lives” seeks to cook 1,000 packs of food for the security agencies and another 1000 for Medical personnel. They are ready, and with the needed resources can feed up to 10,000 people daily. Presented 400 packed meals ahead of providing 1000 packs daily beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

In her remark, Madam Bella Ahu, Mad. Bella Ahu called for support for the Association who she says has the capability to cook for the vulnerable across the country.

The Minister of Tourism, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi appreciated the gesture of Chefs Association and on behalf of the Ministry and it’s agencies, represented by Ghana Tourism Authority presented food items such as rice and oil saying the Ministry was going to support the initiative with cash and items worth GHS 100,000.00. The Deputy Minister of Tourism thanked the Association for their initiative and remarked that they have become the shining star in times of need.

Mr. Freeman Tettey of the Ghana Police service and member of the COVID-19 operation team received the items on behalf of the Frontliners expressing appreciation for the thought and gesture.

The Minister in her closing remarks said she was going to seek further support of the private sector urged the Association to consider the vulnerable in society in these times. #stayhome #COVID_19 #covid #CoronavirusUpdate #SeeGhana #FeelGhana #LockdownGhana #StayAtHome #COVID19 #TheLockdown #supportsmallbusiness #supportlocal

GTA Orders Closure Of Beaches

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Under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture ( MOTAC), the Ghana Tourism Authority ( GTA)  would like to remind the public about the Government’s directives suspending all public gatherings.

In this regard, the GTA hereby orders all beaches to be closed to the public until further notice. The GTA with the support of  National Security and the Ghana Police Service will begin patrols of the beaches from Tuesday 24th March 2020, to ensure compliance with the closure order.

The general public and tourist business operators are urged to be mindful of the precautionary measures announced by the President of the Republic to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Issued by GTA

Paragliding and Other Tourism Events Suspended

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Following the directives of the President of the Republic of Ghana banning all public gatherings, the Ghana Tourism Authority wishes to inform the General Public that the Annual Kwahu Paragliding Festival, 2020 has been called off with immediate effect.

All those who have registered and paid to participate in the Paragliding festival should contact the following for further directives: 0244161585 and email on [email protected]

In addition, all Regional Tourism and the National Tourism Awards slated between March and April have been postponed until further notice. The Authority will announce new dates and schedules for these events when the situation normalizes.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused and kindly entreat all and sundry to adhere to the precautionary measures which have been put in place by the Government of Ghana through the Ghana Health Service to prevent the spread of COVID -19.

Please call the Ghana Health Service hotlines on 0558439868/ 0509497700 for assistance.
Don’t be scared, just take care.

Thank you.

ISSUED BY THE GHANA TOURISM AUTHORITY.

 

In a related matter, The CITI TV / CITI FM Heritage Month Events have also been called off. Also all activities linked to the Kwahu Easter celebration have been called off.