By Papisdaff Abdullah
A former of Ghana is demanding the abolishment of an obligatory $50 COVID-19 test on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra. Ex President John Mahama maintains, the situation in other countries like the UK is different as far as the COVID-19 restrictions and PCR test are concerned. He wants Ghana to emulate same.
The leader of the largest opposition party in Ghana says the UK government considers COVID-19 vaccination cards submitted by Ghanaian internationally and allows entry once you have the card as proof of vaccination, hence negating the need for additional testing.
“It is a most unfortunate situation that Ghanaians who have valid vaccination certificates cannot board flights back home without a £90 PCR test, and an additional US$50 PCR test booking in Accra.
“Government must stop the US$50 compulsory PCR test for travelers who have been vaccinated. And must also stop the demand for originating PCR tests before the same category of travelers are allowed to board flights to Ghana,” he stated in a Facebook post.
Below is the full statement issued by the former President on his Facebook page
I travelled last month to London on British Airways. I was pleasantly surprised when I was informed that I did not require a COVID-19 PCR test to board the flight. While I was still required to fill a locator form, no further tests were required of me for the 12 days I stayed in the UK.
Imagine my shock when British Airways informed me that I would be required to take a PCR test before I am allowed to board my return flight home. They explained that this is because of regulations in Ghana. It cost £90 to have the test done.
I was also informed that I would not be checked in for the flight back unless I filled an online form and paid a fee of $50.
From my recent experience with PCR testing and COVID regulations at our airport, I think it is time for Government to review the procedures and protocols. It is an inconvenience, a financial burden and actually unfair to compel our citizens, who we encouraged to take COVID-19 vaccinations, with some taking the boosters, to pay as much as £90 to a foreign clinic for a PCR test before they are allowed to board flights coming back home.
And even more ridiculous, they must book another $50 PCR test to be conducted on arrival in Accra.
The UK government considers the Ghanaian COVID-19 vaccination card internationally accepted and allows entry once you have the card without any testing.
It is a most unfortunate situation that Ghanaians who have valid vaccination certificates cannot board flights back home without a £90 PCR test, and an additional US$50 PCR test booking in Accra.
Government must stop the US$50 compulsory PCR test for travellers who have been vaccinated. And must also stop the demand for originating PCR tests before the same category of travellers are allowed to board flights to Ghana.
The reason for UK rolling back its COVID-19 restrictions is that deaths are down and severe cases requiring intensive care are down, and besides they believe it’s time to learn to live with Covid. I think it is time for us in Ghana to do same.
Government expected action
Meanwhile the Government of Ghana is expected to in the coming days make a decision on lifting or retaining the resolution on closure of the country’s land borders.
This follows calls from civil society groups, opposition parties and other organizations for the re-opening of the borders closed since 2020.
The long border closures have devastated the local economies of border communities.