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Ghana – COVID-19: Lifting of Travel Restrictions Underway

Ghana–COVID-19: Lifting of Travel Restrictions Underway

Amongst the measures related to the pandemic recently announced by the president, which took effect on Tuesday, 1 September 2020, is the reopening of Kotoka International Airport to passengers. The country’s borders by land and sea remain closed for now to passenger travel. There are some exceptions to the travel rules and certain social restrictions that must be respected.

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Emmanuel Asiedu

Partner, Tax and Regulatory Services

KPMG in Ghana

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On Sunday, 30 August 2020, the president of Ghana gave an update on the country’s enhanced response to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and outlined measures to ease some of the earlier restrictions.1

Amongst the measures announced by the president, which took effect on Tuesday, 1 September 2020, is the reopening of Kotoka International Airport to passengers.  The country’s borders by land and sea on the other hand remain closed to human traffic until further notice.

WHY THIS MATTERS

With the reopening of the airport, assignees who had their assignments to Ghana postponed, as well as those who were unable to depart from Ghana after the end of their assignments, will now be able to travel to Ghana or back to their home countries.  Also, business travellers and other commuters can now travel into and out of the country. 

Employers can now properly schedule the assignments of workers inbound and outbound and enhance the smooth management of their international assignees.

Travel Protocols

1.      Any passenger arriving in Ghana must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin.  The test should have been done not more than seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin.  For passengers who transit through other countries before arriving in Ghana, the first country of departure will be the reference point.

2.    Disembarking passengers must be wearing face masks.

3.    Each passenger after disembarking will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee to be borne by the passenger.  The test result will be available within thirty (30) minutes.

4.      Passengers who test positive for COVID-19, will be handled by the health authorities for further clinical assessment and management.

5.      Passengers who test negative can, thereupon, enter Ghana to go about their lawful activities, and will be advised to continue to observe COVID-19 safety precautions during their stay in Ghana.

Exemptions to Travel Protocols

1. Children under the ages of five (5) will not be required to undergo testing at the airport.

2. Passengers who arrive under emergency circumstances, such as a diverted flight, will not be required to undergo testing if they do not leave the airport or if they remain in transit such that they do not leave the hotel. 

3. Passengers who depart Ghana and return within one (1) week will not be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from the country of departure.  A negative COVID-19 PCR test from Ghana will suffice.

4. Airline crew members are exempted from the pre-departure and arrival testing and should follow airline policy for testing. 

Social Restrictions

  • Educational Sector: Nursery schools through to 1st-year students in junior and senior high schools will resume their next academic year in January 2021.
  • Public Establishments: Certain establishments and venues such as pubs, nightclubs, and beaches remain closed until further notice.

KPMG NOTE

PCR test results must be from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin.

All airlines are advised to strictly adhere to this directive and will be duly sanctioned for failure to comply.

FOOTNOTE

1  See the president’s speech on the website for “The Presidency: Republic of Ghana”: http://www.presidency.gov.gh/index.php/briefing-room/speeches/1674-update-no-16-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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