President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo addressed the nation for the 16th time on Sunday in relation to Coronavirus and the additional easing of restrictions in the country.
As many had anticipated, the President announced the reopening and resumption of operations at the Kotoka International Airport, effective Tuesday, September 1.
In spite of the opening of the air border, the President was however emphatic that borders by land and sea will continue to remain closed to human traffic until arrangements are made for their safe reopening.
To ensure that cases are not imported into the country, any passenger arriving in Ghana must be in possession of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin.
The test, he stated, should have been done not more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure from the country of origin.
Despite all these measures, the President also said all disembarking passengers must wear their face masks, and upon disembarking, each passenger will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee to be borne by the passenger with the test result to be made available within half an hour.
Children under the ages of five have been exempted from these tests.
Airport officials conducted a series of simulation from Friday through to Sunday before the President was given the green light to announce the re-opening of the airport. The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) is confident about smooth operations which will provide the uttermost comfort to passengers, and also block all avenues of COVID-19 imported cases.
A disinfection exercise would be carried out to prepare the airport for re-opening today. Some of us were privy to watch the President on television as he was conducted around the KIA after the simulation exercises and we must say the preparations were thorough and in-depth.
We are all relieved that after months of torment and trepidation because of the novel coronavirus, the country is slowing returning to normalcy and our air borders have now been declared open to flights from around the globe to integrate us back to the global marketplace.
Airline operators last week Friday met with the Minister of Aviation and expressed readiness to commence operations. The operators said they had configured their systems to allow for ticket sales and setting up routing schedules with neighbouring countries especially Nigeria which has also opened its air borders.