The Ghana Health Service has reviewed its COVID-19 protocol for international travellers owing to the rise in cases of the Omicron variant detected in the country.
In a statement on Thursday, Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, director-general of the service, said the country has witnessed an increase in COVID-19 cases since the Omicron variant was detected.
The service said infections are expected to rise during the festive season and that the surge in COVID-19 cases is already being reflected at Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
According to the new protocol, inbound and outbound travellers are expected to be fully vaccinated before travelling.
“In November 2020, 168 cases were detected compared to 241 cases in November 2021, an increase of over 40%. We have since been recording an average of 20 positive cases a day at KIA,” the service said.
“For these positive cases, there is a significant difference in the percentage of COVID-19 infection based on vaccination status recorded at KIA. Available data from KIA, show that a COVID-19 positive person is three times more likely to be unvaccinated.
“The new variant, Omicron which is said to be more transmissible has been detected at our airport. Of the 34 cases detected, 75% of them were unvaccinated. Over the last two weeks, cases from airports account for about 60% of the total cases recorded in the country.
“To avert this, the following directives are to be implemented effective midnight 12th December 2021:
“For travelers to Ghana: all persons 18 years and above arriving in Ghana will be required to provide evidence of full
vaccination for a COVID-19 vaccine
“All unvaccinated Ghanaians and residents of Ghana who are currently outside the country and intend to return within 14 days from the midnight of 12th December 2021 are exempted. However, they would be vaccinated on arrival at the airport.
“Traveling Out of Ghana: All Ghanaians travelling out of the country are to be fully vaccinated effective midnight 12th December 021.”
The service added that other arrival requirements such as the 72-hour negative PCR test required prior to travel; completion of the health declaration form, and the antigen test required to be taken by all persons who arrive in Ghana remain unchanged.