Prime News Ghana

KIA: No more compulsory PCR testing for fully vaccinated persons

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Fully vaccinated persons arriving at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) will no longer present a negative PCR COVID-19 test from the country of embarkation, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced.

From Monday, March 28, 2022, the President said, such travellers, will also not be tested on arrival.

Those who have not been fully vaccinated will, however, have to provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test in addition to an antigen test.

“From tomorrow, Monday, 28th March, fully vaccinated travellers into Ghana will not take PCR tests from the country of embarkation to allow them entry into the country through the KIA, and will not be tested on arrival. Citizens and foreign residents in Ghana, who are not fully vaccinated, would, however, need to provide a negative PCR test result of not more than 48-hours. They will undergo an antigen test upon arrival at KIA, and will be offered vaccination there”, Akufo-Addo said on Sunday.

The government engaged Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited to conduct the rapid COVID-19 tests at KIA following the reopening of the airport to international passenger flights in September 2020.

The 30-minute PCR COVID-19 test initially attracted a $150 fee but was subsequently reviewed.

While the amount was maintained for non-ECOWAS citizens, those from any of the West African countries were to pay $50 for such services at Kotoka International Airport.

“It is worth noting that the establishment of the COVID-19 testing infrastructure at the Kotoka International Airport by Frontier Healthcare Services Ltd, at its own cost, has been key to our ability to limit successfully the importation of the virus into Ghana through the airport. The efficacy of the testing regime at KIA has won global admiration, and has been applauded by all those who have undergone its testing. It has been one of the reasons why Ghana was not at the receiving end of several of the travel bans imposed by the West at the height of the pandemic, for which many African countries were affected”, Akufo-Addo said.

The Minority had before these restrictions expressed concern that Ghana was short-changed in the deal with Frontiers Healthcare Solution Services Limited with regard to COVID-19 testing services at the Kotoka International Airport.

They had treatened a demonstration at the Kotoka International Airport if the mandatory COVID-19 testing at the airport is not made free.

Former President John Mahama also joined calls for the government to scrap the $50 mandatory COVID-19 test at the Kotoka International Airport.

In a Facebook post recounting his experience travelling to the UK, he said since Ghana’s COVID vaccination card is internationally recognised, he did not have to take a test when he arrived in London.

“It is a most unfortunate situation that Ghanaians who have valid vaccination certificates cannot board flights back home without a £90 PCR test, and an additional US$50 PCR test booking in Accra,” Mahama lamented in his post.

President Akufo-Addo attributed the eased restrictions on the reduced number of active cases in the country.

He also cited the number of vaccinated persons and the advice of the national COVID-19 Taskforce and the health experts leading to the to revision of the COVID-19 restrictions, enacted under E.I. 64.