COVID-19: Tourist sites, open-air bars open; taxis, trotros, domestic planes can carry full capacity – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo, has said “n consultation with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the health experts, I am announcing the reopening of our nation’s tourist sites and attractions, so they can begin to receive visitors”.

Also, he announced on Sunday, 26 July 2020 that: “Open-air drinking spots can now function”, adding: “The management of these facilities are tasked to enforce enhanced hygiene and social-distancing protocols”.

“Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs, however, remain closed until further notice”, the President said.

On the sports front, the President said: “Our female Under-20 and Under-17 national football teams have been given the clearance to go into their respective training camps to begin preparations towards their FIFA and CAF-sanctioned international matches, which begin in September. Whilst in training, the playing, technical and management teams must observe strictly all the protocols issued by Government, CAF and FIFA against COVID-19. All other team and contact sports, and competitive sporting events remain suspended till further notice”.

In the transportation sector, the President said: “In consultation with the Ministries of Transport and Aviation, and the leadership of transport operators, the government has taken the decision to lift the restrictions in the transport sector, and allow for full capacity in our domestic airplanes, taxis, trotros and buses. The wearing of masks in vehicles and aircraft, and the maintenance of enhanced hygiene protocols, remain mandatory”.

Below are the other details of the phased easing of restrictions as announced by the President:

30. Private burials, still, with a maximum of one hundred (100) persons, can continue to be performed.

31. Our borders, by air, land and sea, remain closed until further notice for human traffic. However, given that there are Ghana residents stranded abroad, special dispensation will continue to be given for the evacuation of our nationals and residents back to Ghana, where they will be subjected to the mandatory quarantine and safety protocols.

32. As I have said before, the phased opening up of our country puts an individual obligation and responsibility on each one of us, and means that  we must continue to remain vigilant, and respect the enhanced hygiene, mask-wearing and social distancing protocols that have become part and parcel of our daily routine. We dare not ruin the successes we have chalked over this period.

33. There will always be those who will peddle untruths, and embark on deliberate misinformation campaigns, especially in this era of fake news.  In their irresponsible bid to score cheap points, they escalate mistrust and heighten, unnecessarily, the anxiety levels over the disease in the country. As we work towards defeating this virus, we should reject completely those who seek to perpetuate falsehood, thereby, creating fear and panic, and call them out when they do.

34. Our fight against the stigmatisation of persons, who have contracted COVID-19, continues in earnest. Those engaged in this anti-social act should stop, as stigmatisation drives away people from getting screened, tested and treated. The virus is no respecter of persons, and the overwhelming majority of persons who have tested positive, recover, indeed, have recovered, and are living perfectly normal lives, and pose no danger to anyone.

35. These changes I have announced transition us into a new phase of our COVID-19 fight, in which we teach ourselves how to live responsibly with Coronavirus. We do not expect to go back to the way things were five (5) months ago – but we should create a “new normal”, where we are constantly figuring out how to go to work, keep our businesses and places of worship open, send our children to school, and, all the time, keeping safe, containing the spread of the disease, and acting swiftly where and whenever hotspots appear.

36. This is the new, second phase we are entering today – Responsible behaviour, continuing State support, and living in Grace.

37. This Government is resolved and determined, in this second phase, to help Ghanaians fully return to their daily routines, whether it be going to work, going to school, going to a funeral or going to worship – all the while taking full precautionary measures to protect ourselves and our families from the virus.  

38. I have never wavered in my deeply-held conviction that, if each one of us embraces the safety protocols, and we continue to put our faith in the Almighty, we will emerge strongly from this crisis. This too shall pass! For the Battle is the Lords!!

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