Airlines that board, transport and disembark passengers without the requisite PCR test results or with positive test results into the country will be fined US$3,500 per passenger as part of new measures from the Ghana Airports Company to curtail the importation of the virus into the country.
Also, for boarding passengers who are either without proof of payment for the COVID-19 test or could not pay for the test in Ghana, the airlines will face a similar fine of US$3,500 per passenger.
In addition to the fine, non-Ghanaians on such flights may be refused entry and returned to the point of embarkation at a cost to the airline whilst Ghanaians will be allowed entry but subject to a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
These are part of a raft of measures introduced by the country’s airports operator in its updated COVID-19 measures at the Kotoka International Airport for all arriving and departing passengers, including those from the ECOWAS region effective February 8, 2021.
“Passengers transiting and transferring through Accra will not be required to take the Covid test in Accra but will be required to adhere to testing requirements for the destination countries,” the statement from the GACL indicated.
Airline crew are exempted from the pre-departure and arrival COVID-19 testing but they must the carrier’s policy for testing, as per the new measures.
Other exemptions to the testing rule are children under age five, who will not be required to undergo testing on arrival, and passengers who arrive under emergency circumstances such as diverted flights—as long as they don’t leave the airport or remain in isolation in their hotel.
Children between the ages of 5-12 years are however required to pay the revised US$50 for testing.
The Kotoka International Airport was reopened to flights in May 2020 after it was shut down in the wake of the pandemic.
Initial measures that were introduced and enforced to prioritize the health and safety of passengers and staff included temperature checks, the mandatory wearing of nose masks, and social distancing protocols both at the terminal and onboard aircraft.
The reopening of the airport was after an extensive disinfection exercise by the government.