Ghanaian authorities are set to reopen the Kotoka International Airport on 1 September 2020, for international commercial passenger flights after nearly 5 months hiatus. This is due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in the country. Ghana’s borders have been closed to human traffic since 21 March 2020.
Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport was reduced to cargo and special flights; including repatriation flights for which travelers were made to go through COVID-19 safety protocols effected by the Ghanaian authorities at the airport. KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, Brussels Airlines, South African Airways etc operated repatriation flights to; and from Ghana.
Measures Adopted to Reopen Airports
In a statement by the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo, in his address to the nation on 16 August 2020, he noted: “we are in a position to test every single passenger that comes in the country to avoid the spread of the virus”. He added that the Ministry of Aviation, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and the Ghana Airports Co. Ltd have been working with the ministry of Health and it’s agencies, to ascertain the readiness to reopen the airport.
According to local sources, the Ghana Health Service has outlined safety protocols at the airport to control the spread of the virus. Below is the guidelines:
1. Ensure there is no congestion at all sections of the airport (arrival, departure and environs) to fail adherence to social distancing protocols.
2. Compulsory mask wearing for all passengers (both arriving and departing) as well as staff.
3. Temperature monitoring to continue at both arrival and departure terminals.
4. Ensure social distancing and compulsory mask-wearing at the car parks and in front of all terminals.
In some local sources, the Ghanaian authorities have considered adopting COVID-19 rapid tests at the airport other than a 2 week mandatory quarantine.
Implications of Reopening of Airports
Airline operators which suspended operations in Ghana will be expected to resume operations in the West African country. This includes; Delta Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Emirates, RwandAir, Kenya Airways, Egypt Air, Arik Air, Asky Airlines etc.