Two Italian nationals who tried to enter Ghana from the epicentre of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Europe were prevented from entering Ghana Monday night, [March 16, 2020].
This was in compliance with the travel advisory directive issued by the government of Ghana to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who disclosed this said: “Last night there were two Italians, who it was clear they were coming from the epicentre …even though the aircraft was still in the air, we had to make arrangements at the airport to ensure that they did not get off the aircraft and they are returned to their originating destination.”
“So though we are yet to hit the 1 pm timeline today [Tuesday, March 17, 2020], some soft enforcement has already commenced at our ports of entry,” Mr Nkrumah said.
He said details of the travellers who were en route to Ghana on an Air France flight were confirmed which triggered the action to deny them entry.
On whether there would be a total ban on flights from the epicentre, Mr Nkrumah said: “as the President said the guidelines that have been given are subject to review at any point in time. At this stage, this is what we believe is appropriate to do and this is how we are enforcing it at this stage.”
Mr Nkrumah disclosed this at a trainer-of-trainers workshop for Regional Information Officers in Accra on Tuesday [March 17, 2020].
As part of measures being taken by the government to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease in Ghana, the government has banned travellers who want to come to Ghana but have been to any country that has been affected by the disease (COVID-19) within the last 14 days.
The ban takes effect Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 1 pm.
Ghana has so far confirmed six cases of the Coronavirus disease with over 200 contacts being traced, some of whom have been quarantined with others asked to do self-quarantine for the next 14-days.
As part of the travel advisory measures, the government has “strongly discouraged” travelling into Ghana until further notice.
A statement from the Ministry of Information on Sunday, March 15, 2020, however, said that Ghanaian citizens and persons with Ghanaian residence permits would be allowed into Ghana but would be made to observe a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.