Ghana – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions and Safety Directives
Ghana – COVID-19-Related Travel Restrictions and Safety
On 21 March 2020, the president updated the nation on the status of those measures put in place to help minimise the possibility of further novel coronavirus infestation. He also placed additional stringent restrictions on travel by ordering the closure of Ghana's land, sea, and air borders to human traffic effective midnight, 22 March 2020. A few days earlier, the president had outlined measures to curtail its spread in the country, including social distancing, the shut-down of schools, restrictions on public gatherings, etc.
On 15 March 2020, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana gave an update on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Ghana and outlined measures to curtail its spread in the country.1
Amongst the measures announced by the president which took effect from Monday, 16 March 2020, were restrictions on entry into Ghana by other nationals (except for resident permit holders) traveling from countries which have recorded at least 200 coronavirus cases, mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for persons who are otherwise allowed to enter Ghanaian territory, and suspension of public gatherings including sporting events, conferences, and workshops.
On 21 March 2020, the president updated the nation on the status of those measures put in place to help minimise the possibility of further novel coronavirus infestation. He also placed additional stringent restrictions on travel by ordering the closure of Ghana's land, sea, and air borders to human traffic effective midnight, 22 March 2020.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Ghana, like many other countries, is limiting cross-border travel into the country with significant impact for the mobility of a company’s international workforce. The prohibition on entry into the country from individuals coming from high-coronavirus-case jurisdictions and other travel and quarantine measures that have been announced will impact companies with expatriate populations in terms of existing and future assignments inbound to Ghana or outbound from Ghana. Employees and their families who may have received offers for an international assignment to Ghana may need to postpone the commencement of their assignments. This could cause some anxiety, stress, and inconvenience, especially where plans for relocation are already underway (or where they are already in Ghana on temporary visas).
The changes wrought in travel and daily life in light of recent government measures, may mean delays, more administration, and a considerable amount of inconvenience for some companies, their affected employees, and the Ghanaian population, generally speaking, though it is in the interest of protecting public health and safety.
Following the outright closure of Ghana's land, sea, and air borders to human traffic, travel to or from Ghana may not be permitted at all.
Previous announcements had stipulated that foreign nationals (except for resident permit holders) traveling from countries that have recorded at least 200 coronavirus cases would not be allowed entry. The airlines and border posts had also been instructed not to allow persons from these countries to embark.2
However, passengers who have been allowed into the country have been mandated to self-quarantine for 14 days. Guidelines for self-quarantine have been provided at the various ports of entries3.
- Public gathering: All public gatherings such as workshops, conferences, funerals, festivals, and religious activities, are to be suspended for four (4) weeks. Private burials can be held with a maximum of 25 people while observing the social distance of one-meter.
- Educational Sector: All universities, senior high schools, and basic schools (both private and public) have been authorised to shut down.
- Public Establishments: All establishments, such us supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels are to observe enhanced hygiene procedures by providing running water and soap for washing of hands and hand sanitizers.
- Transport Sector: The Ministry of Transport is to collaborate with all public transport services to observe enhanced hygiene procedures by providing running water and soap for washing of hands and hand sanitizers.
- Businesses and Workplaces: All businesses and other workplaces can continue to operate but should observe the prescribed social distance of 1-meter and other hygiene conditions.
Persons determined to be unable to self-quarantine will be quarantined by the state.
Any traveler who shows signs of COVID-19 will be quarantined and tested immediately upon reaching Ghana.
It is advisable that travel to Ghana be postponed, but that all travelers who may be permitted to come to Ghana observe the new travel restrictions and stay-safe policies.
1 For the president’s address on COVID-19, see the website for the president of Ghana.
For some basic information on measures taken by the Ghanaian government to combat COVID-19 and some joint U.S.-Ghana efforts related to the COVID-19 crisis, see this webpage of the U.S. Embassy in Ghana, click here.
2 See the report on the announcement by Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, on GhanaWeb, click here. (Note that this is a 3rd party (non-governmental, non-KPMG) website. Providing this link does not represent an endorsement of this website by KPMG.)
3 See the Ghana Health Service website.
* 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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