Flashback: A traveller undergoing a COVID-19 Test at the KIA
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has reviewed its COVID-19 requirements for air travel passengers entering the country via the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Per the new COVID-19 requirement, passengers originating from China will have to undergo free mandatory COVID-19 testing on arrival at the (KIA).
The passengers from China must also present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result 48 hours prior to departure from their originating country per the latest guidelines which come into effect on January 6, 2023.
A joint statement released by the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Health, GHS and KIA indicated that all other passengers from countries asides from China who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated will be required to present a valid COVID-19 PCR test result 48 hours prior to departure from the originating country.
In addition, such passengers will be required to undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing on arrival at the KIA at no cost.
The new guidelines are in response to the change in the global COVID-19 situation, particularly with a surge in new cases in China and other countries as well as Ghana’s relatively low vaccine coverage.
The measures are to address the current threat of COVID-19, especially with regard to the importation of cases.
Passengers may also be selected at random and offered COVID-19 tests on arrival while non-Ghanaians travelling to the KIA with fake or forged vaccination certificates shall be quarantined and returned to the point of embarkation at their own cost.
Airlines that bring passengers to the KIA who are not fully vaccinated or passengers originating from China without a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result 48 hours prior to departure would be surcharged $3,500.
All arriving passengers will also undergo temperature screening, Yellow Fever Card verification and COVID-19 vaccination certificate verification.
The review however, exempted children less than 18 years of age from mandatory vaccination, pre-departure PCR testing and testing on arrival in the country.
Also, airline crew is exempted from the pre-departure and arrival COVID-19 testing and should follow the Airline policy for testing.
“Passengers who arrive under emergency circumstances such as diverted flights will not be required to undergo testing if they do not leave the airport or remain in isolation in their hotel,” it said.
It is mandatory for all passengers to present a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before embarkation except partially vaccinated or unvaccinated Ghanaians who are required to present a negative 48hrs PCR test result to the airline before embarkation and to Port Health upon arrival.
A person is said to be fully vaccinated when he/she has taken the full dose of vaccines approved and registered by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana, or other vaccines prequalified by WHO (https://covid19.trackvaccines.org/agency/who).
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri