Coronavirus: Possible border re-opening signifies last phase of easing restrictions
Even as Nigeria plans to reopen its airports for international flights from August, 29, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s recent 15th COVID-19 update to the nation gave the strongest indication that Ghana is also contemplating the same, but will be guided by how the pandemic behaves.
The tentative date for re-opening has been given as September 1, but airline operators in the country want the Ministry of Aviation to give them at least 14 days’ prior notice after all stakeholders have agreed on opening of the country’s borders.
Chairperson of the Board of Airline Representatives in Ghana, Gloria Yirenkyi, stated that most airlines say that they will need at least two-weeks’ notice to be able to put inventory back into the local booking distribution system for sales.
However, the president assured by that time readiness to test all passengers will have been completed to enable the borders to re-open. This is indeed good news, since it means the gradual easing of restrictions is in its last and final stages; and so Ghanaians can get prepared for a life of normalcy before the year comes to an end.
Ms. Yirenkyi told our Aviation correspondent that many of her members are ready for a take-off. West African governments proposed re-opening borders between their countries in the first-half of July, and allowing in travellers from other countries with low or controlled levels of coronavirus-spread by end of July.
This opening, specifies the organisation, will be a function of the pandemic’s evolution within the member-countries of ECOWAS and the other countries; and will be the subject of a periodic evaluation.
African governments have struggled since start of the outbreak to strike a balance between containing the virus and maintaining day-to-day economic activities that millions of their citizens depend on to survive.
The airports have been closed since March 23 to all but essential international flights as part of the country’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.