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Gov’t To Fine Airlines That Bring Coronavirus Passengers

Airline operators face a heavy fine for flouting COVID-19 regulations implemented at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), a new guideline by the Ghana Airports Company Limited has stated.

As part of measures to ensure smooth operations at the airport while curtailing the spread of COVID-19, new rules have been instituted.

Consequently, “Airlines who board passengers without Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result or transport and disembark passengers with Positive PCR test result into Accra will be fined US$3,500 per passenger.

Furthermore, foreigners who arrive and test positive for COVID-19 will be refused entry and sent back to their point of departure at the cost of the airline that brought them.

The airport had recorded 26 positive cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, September 18.

A total of 16 out of the 23 airlines that operated at KIA prior to its closure had commenced flights to and from Accra.

PCR test machines have been installed to conduct tests and transmit results automatically to immigration terminals within 30 minutes at a cost of US$150.

The details of COVID-19 protocols for the airport’s operation is detailed below:

Arriving Passengers

All international arriving passengers, including those from the ECOWAS region, will be required to meet the following health requirements prior to admission into Ghana:

Passengers must not have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 including body temperature greater than 38°C

Passengers must possess a COVID-19 negative PCR test from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin.

The test should have been done not more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure time from the country of origin.

Airlines who board passengers without PCR test result or transport and disembark passengers with Positive PCR test result into Accra will be fined US$3,500 per passenger.

Non-Ghanaians may be refused entry and returned to the point of embarkation at a cost to the Airline.

Ghanaians will be allowed entry but subject to 14 days of mandatory quarantine at a facility approved by the Government and at a cost to the passenger.

  1. Arriving passengers will undergo temperature screening.
  2. Ghanaian residents who depart Ghana and return within one (1) week will not be required to present a COVID-19 result from the country of departure. They will, however, undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing upon arrival in Ghana.
  3. Passengers will be subjected to a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal at a cost of $150 to be borne by the passenger. Payment can be made online at https://myfrontierhealthcare.com/Home/Ghana. Any passenger who is unable to pay online will be required to make a payment on arrival for the test.
  4. Any Passenger who refuses to pay to undergo the COVID-19 test will be subjected to the following

Passenger’s passport will be seized, and the passenger handed over to State Security Agencies

Passenger will be taken into a fourteen (14) day quarantine at a designated location at the passenger’s cost.

  1. Passengers who test positive upon arrival will receive further clinical assessment and treatment.
  2. Passengers who test negative will be advised to continue to observe COVID-19 safety precautions following arrival in Ghana.
  3. For passengers who transit through other countries before arriving in Ghana, the first country of departure will be the reference point. (Connecting flights should not deny passenger boarding, as long as the journey has not been terminated in any of the transit countries).

Transit Passengers

  1. Passengers transiting and transferring through Accra will not be required to take the COVID-19 test in Accra.
  2. Transit passengers will be required to adhere to COVID-19 testing requirements for the destination countries.

Exemptions

  1. Airline crew are exempted from the pre-departure and arrival COVID-19 testing and should follow the Airline policy for testing.
  2. Children under 5 years of age will not be required to undergo testing on Arrival at the Kotoka International Airport.
  3. Passengers who arrive under emergency circumstances such as diverted flights will not be required the airport or remain in isolation in their room.
  4. Passengers must wear face mask appropriately (extending from the middle nasal bridge to halfway between the chin and the neck) and are advised to regularly use any of the hand sanitizing stations provided in the terminal.

Traveling with Pets

  1. Traveling with pets into Ghana is allowed in line with the guidelines of the Veterinary Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food & Agriculture.

Departing Passengers

All international departing passengers will be required to meet the following guidelines prior to departure:

  1. Passengers will be required to adhere to COVID-19 testing requirements for the destination countries
  2. Departing passengers will undergo temperature screening at the entrance of Terminal 3 departures.
  3. Only passengers and persons with business in the terminal will be allowed entry
  4. Online check-in or the use of self-service kiosks is strongly encouraged to reduce physical contact at the airport.
  5. Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport at least 4 hours before the scheduled departure time.

Passengers must wear face mask appropriately (extending from the middle nasal bridge to halfway between the chin and the neck) and are advised to regularly use any of the hand sanitizing stations provided in the terminal.

Please send us your articles for publication via editor@reportghana.com

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