Ghana will fine airlines if they bring unvaccinated passengers into the country

Operator GhanaThe UK’s main international airport will fine airlines $3,500 for every passenger who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 or who tests positive for the coronavirus on arrival, it said on Dec. 13.

The rule takes effect Tuesday at Kotoka International Airport in the capital Accra, Ghana Airports said. This follows a health ministry decision last week requiring all people entering Ghana to be vaccinated.

The measures are among the most stringent in Africa, where vaccine roll-out is hampered by lack of supply and logistical issues, even as the new Omicron variant raises concerns about faster transmission of the virus.

The tightening of restrictions in Ghana comes after the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced a €75 million ($85 million) investment loan to support the pandemic response, the largest such support for the COVID-19 program in South Africa. from the Sahara.

“Ghana has taken important steps to cope with the effects of COVID and unlock long-term investment,” said EIB President Werner Hoyer.

Authorities launched a mass vaccination campaign this month ahead of a mandate to vaccinate target groups, including government employees, health workers and students, effective January 22. He plans to hire more healthcare workers to be able to double his daily vaccinations for 140,000 people.

Ghana, one of West Africa’s largest economies that relies on exports of cocoa, gold and oil, has so far vaccinated just over 5% of its 30 million population, according to data compiled by Reuters.

According to the data, the health service recorded 131,412 infections and 1,239 deaths from COVID-19.

Over the past two weeks, COVID-19 cases reported at Kotoka Airport accounted for about 60% of the country’s total infections, the health service said on Friday.