ACCRA, Dec 13 (Reuters) – The operator of Ghana’s main international airport will fine airlines $3,500 for every passenger they bring in that is not vaccinated against COVID-19 or that tests positive for the coronavirus on arrival, it said on Monday.
The rules, announced by Ghana Airports, follow others introduced last week by the health ministry that require all people entering Ghana to be vaccinated. They come into effect for the Kotoka International Airport in the capital Accra on Tuesday.
The requirements are some of the strictest in Africa where vaccine uptake has been slow due to lack of supply and logistical challenges, and come as the new Omicron variant raises concerns about quicker transmission of the virus.
Ghana, one of West Africa’s largest economies that runs on exports of cocoa, gold and oil, has so far vaccinated a little over 5% of its population of 30 million, data compiled by Reuters showed.
Its health service has recorded 131,412 infections and 1,239 deaths from COVID-19, according to the data.
Over the last two weeks, COVID-19 cases recorded at Kotoka airport accounted for about 60% of total infections in the country, the health service said on Friday.
(Reporting By Christian Akorlie; Writing by Edward McAllister Editing by Bate Felix and Louise Heavens)
Photo – Men prepare to fumigate to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which causes the Covid-19 disease at a market in Accra, Ghana. EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN THOMPSON