The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has reiterated that the “December in GH” events scheduled for the festive season would still be held under strict COVID-19 protocols.
Despite the confirmation of the new variant in the country, on November 21, the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, the GTA and industry players have agreed that the events would still hold under strict conditions to prevent the spread.
Mr Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi, Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, GTA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said all events organisers had been asked to adhere to the protocols and ensure that patrons of their event were vaccinated, adding that the security agencies would also be at the centre.
He said all people entering the country for the events must be vaccinated and do a PCR test 72 hours before arrival and at the airport and the various borders of entry.
The GTA has agreed that they go through checkups.
“Before launching the lineup of events, the GTA, the Ministry, the Ghana Health Service, the COVID-19 task force at the Presidency and also the Presidential Advisor on health held a stakeholder meeting to discuss further how to prevent Ghanaians from contracting the virus while engaging in the numerous activities lined up for the season.”
Mr Kusi noted that it was a concerted effort to sit and collaborate on how to prevent any occurrence and to get Ghanaians to appreciate the fact that they have to be vaccinated so as to prevent the spread.
“If we are not careful after the events there will be a rise in the infections and this is what we hope to prevent.”
He noted that any event organizer that flouted the directive to adhere to the protocols would be answerable to the Ghana Police Service, the National Security and the NIB.
“We do not have the power to prosecute but the security agencies will do their best to ensure the right things are done in order to have COVID 19 free Christmas festivities so that moving into next year we will know that we were able to manage ourselves very well and we can move on a full swing into the next year.”
The Deputy Director of Corporate Affairs said, “If we do not do some of these things we will only be jeopardizing the economy, and all sector players are very particular about this. We cannot play with the lives of Ghanaians and that is why we will strongly enforce these rules.”
“These are all measures in order not to cause a rise in the new variants, and we appeal to Ghanaians to help us achieve our target.”
The “December in GH” events is to get Ghanaians and the diaspora, people of African descent to come into the country and help to invest into the economy, and get to know more about the country, in terms of the Ghanaian heritage, traditions, arts, culture and visit tourists and attraction sites. This is to help boost tourism, especially domestic tourism.