Ghana – COVID-19: Update on Travel Policies and Restrictions on Social Activities
GH – Travel Policies and Social Restrictions Update
On 31 January 2021, the president of Ghana gave an update on the country’s coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and outlined measures which sought to reverse some of the restrictions that had earlier been relaxed. Amongst the announcements, each passenger after disembarking in Ghana will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee of US$50 for ECOWAS nationals and US$150 for non-ECOWAS nationals. Also, there is re-imposition of a ban on funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances, and parties, and all workplaces must employ a shift-system for workers.
On 31 January 2021, the president of Ghana gave an update1 on the country’s coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and outlined measures which sought to reverse some of the restrictions that had earlier been relaxed (for related coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-384, 2 September 2020).
Amongst the measures announced by the president, which took effect from Monday, 1 February 2021, are the revision of COVID-19 test fees at the airport for Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) nationals, and the re-imposition of restrictions on social gatherings such as weddings, parties, and funerals, until further notice. The country’s borders by land and sea remain closed to human traffic.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The fee for the mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport for ECOWAS nationals has been reduced from US$150 to US$50. This directive is expected to improve movement and business between ECOWAS countries, and should lower costs for travellers (and for employers with mobile employees).
However, the president is encouraging the use of virtual/visual platforms for work, meetings, and conferences where possible to reduce physical contact and lower the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Updated Travel Protocols
- Each passenger after disembarking will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee of US$50 for ECOWAS nationals and US$150 for non-ECOWAS nationals, which will be borne by the passenger. The test result will be available within thirty (30) minutes.
- Ghanaian nationals who test positive for COVID-19 will be handled by the health authorities for further clinical assessment and management and the cost will be borne by the government of Ghana. Other nationals will bear the cost of further clinical assessment and management.
- Social Gathering: There is re-imposition of a ban on funerals, weddings, concerts, theatrical performances, and parties. Private burials with no more than twenty-five (25) people in attendance are permitted with enforcement in place of social distancing, hygiene, and mask-wearing protocols.
- Public Establishments: Certain establishments and venues such as pubs, nightclubs, and beaches remain closed until further notice. Restaurants are to employ take-out services and should avoid as much as possible seated services.
- Workplaces: All workplaces, public and private, must employ a shift-system for workers, in addition to the use of virtual platforms for business or work. All COVID-19 safety protocols are to be observed.
- Conferences and workshops: These are permitted with all the enhanced hygiene and mask protocols in place.
All ECOWAS nationals arriving in Ghana will pay a reduced mandatory COVID-19 test of US$50.
1 See the president’s speech on the website for “The Presidency: Republic of Ghana” at: https://presidency.gov.gh/index.php/briefing-room/speeches/1859-update-no-23-measures-taken-to-combat-spread-of-coronavirus.
Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not offer immigration services or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Ghana.
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