Ghana has announced that a fine of $3,500 will be placed on airlines for each unvaccinated passenger who arrives in the country.
Due to an increased discovery of the Omicron variant in the country, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) reassessed its COVID-19 policy for overseas travellers on December 9.
All travellers must produce proof of full COVID-19 immunisation, or get vaccinated at the airport.
Airlines in Ghana that bring in any unvaccinated passenger will be fined, according to a revised rule for Kotoka International Airport.
The new penalties come a day after the country began requiring all travellers over the age of 18 to show proof of full immunisation against COVID-19, claiming that the airport was responsible for about 60% of all new cases documented in the country during a two-week period.
Passengers who did not fill out a health disclosure before entering Ghana would also be fined the same amount.
The rule will take effect on December 14th.
Foreigners may be denied entrance if they fly in without completing the requirements, according to the airport authority. Ghanaians who fly in without meeting the requirements will be permitted to enter the nation and would be subjected to a 14-day quarantine.
“Airlines that bring passengers to Kotoka International Airport who are not fully vaccinated shall be surcharged $3,500 per passenger”, the guideline reads.
“All passengers are required to present evidence of having filled Ghana’s health declaration form (HDF) at the point of embarkation.
Airlines that bring passengers to Kokota International Airport who had not filled the HDF shall be surcharged $3,500 per passenger”.
According to the statement, “airlines who board passengers without PCR tests or transport and disembark passengers with positive PCR test results into Accra will be fined $3,500 per passenger”.
Ghana has one of the greatest COVID-19 testing programs in the region, with a population of roughly 31 million people. Since the outbreak, there have been 132,000 confirmed cases and 1,243 deaths.
According to figures collated by the Reuters news agency, slightly more than 5% of the population has been vaccinated so far.
Authorities initiated a massive vaccination campaign this month in preparation for the implementation of a vaccine requirement for specified groups, including government officials, health workers, and students, on January 22. The government intends to hire more health workers in order to increase daily vaccinations from 140,000 to 200,000.
“The current increase in cases together with the detection of the Omicron variant among international arrivals and the expected increase during the festive season calls for urgent actions to prevent a major surge in COVID-19 cases in Ghana”, the GHS said last week in announcing its decision.
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