TWO YEARS after the world was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic killing over 6 million people, President Akufo-Addo has finally lifted some of the restrictions put in place to limit the importation and spread of the infection in Ghana.
Announcing the revised restrictions in his 28th COVID-19 update yesternight, President Akufo-Addo said from today, March 28, all land and sea borders will be opened.
“Fully vaccinated travellers will be allowed entry through the land and sea borders without a negative PCR test result from the country of origin. Citizens and foreign residents in Ghana, who are not fully vaccinated, will have to produce a negative 48-hour PCR test result, and will be offered vaccination on arrival,” he said.
The wearing of nose masks in public, he said, is also no longer mandatory.
Furthermore, vaccinated travellers into Ghana will not take PCR tests from the country of embarkation to allow them entry into the country through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), and will not be tested on arrival starting today.
He said citizens and foreign residents in Ghana, who are not fully vaccinated, would, however, need to provide a negative PCR test result of not more than 48-hours, undergo an antigen test upon arrival at KIA, and be offered vaccination.
In line with this directive, Ghana’s foreign missions have been instructed to make vaccination a requirement for visa acquisition.
Also, all in-person activities, such as those that take place in churches, mosques, conferences, workshops, private parties and theatres are to resume at full capacity, as long as the audience and/or participants are fully vaccinated.
“Outdoor functions such as sporting events, entertainment spots, political rallies and funerals may resume at full capacity, again, as long as all persons at these events are fully vaccinated,” he said.
Explaining the rationale for the revised measures enacted under Executive Instrument (E.I.) 64., President Akufo-Addo said there has been a general decline in the burden of COVID-19 over the past two weeks, adding that the “4th wave appears to be over.”
“Indeed, as at Friday, March 25, 2022, the total number of active cases stood at 72. There are no severely or critically ill persons,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo said the low reported cases are an improvement in the availability and uptake of vaccines but was quick to add that the country is yet to meet its national vaccination coverage target.
He expressed the government’s determination to use all means to increase the deployment of vaccines across the country, to achieve its target of vaccinating some twenty (20) million Ghanaians by June 2022.
The President urged those who have not received the vaccine to go for their jab.
“To those listening to the propaganda by the conspiracy theorists, and those who are still sceptical about the efficacy of the vaccine, it has been a year since my wife and I got vaccinated; it has not disrupted our physical wellbeing, neither has it caused us to be sick. We are touch wood, hale and hearty, like the other 13.1 million Ghanaians who have been vaccinated,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo expressed his gratitude to the leadership and membership of the Ghana Health Service, all other health workers, and the members of the COVID-19 taskforce for their outstanding work.
“Ours was an all-inclusive national effort including the security services, public and private sector agencies, religious and chieftaincy institutions, charitable organisations, all of whom have helped in bringing us this far,” he said.
He appealed to the public to live responsibly, protect each other at all times, and do everything to stay safe, as the restrictions are lifted.
“Now is the time for all of us to join hands, work hard, and help put our nation back onto the path of progress and prosperity, as we resume full production and increase productivity,” he stated.
BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri