Holidaymakers were left stranded at various beach entry points across Accra on “Boxing Day” as the Greater Accra Regional Security Council (REGSEC) enforced the closure of all beaches as part of efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The REGSEC, led by the Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey on Friday, (Dec 24, 2021) announced the closure of all beaches across the capital in an effort to stem a possible spread of COVID-19 during the Yuletide.
The Ghana News Agency reports that during a visit to some beaches in Labadi, Osu and Chorkor on Sunday, many of the entry points had been taken over by security personnel.
A few people who sneaked into the beaches were prevented from swimming by the security personnel who were patrolling the beaches.
Speaking to the GNA, some holidaymakers bemoaned the timing of the directive and said it was causing discomfort to people who wanted to relax after a turbulent year.
Mr Isaac Neequaye, a holidaymaker, did not understand why the beaches would be closed while pubs and other eateries were allowed to operate at full capacity.
“We have been told since the outbreak of this pandemic to hold meetings in open, airy places to minimize the spread and a beach is an airy place and so the likelihood of it contributing to a surge in COVID-19 cases is neither here nor there.
“I am very disappointed that I cannot have a bit of relaxation here because of this directive,” he said.
The situation was, however, different at some beaches in Dansoman where the security was absent, leaving many holidaymakers to have a free day.
Ms Cecy Adomako, 22, said all though she was aware of the directive, she and her friends decided to have fun because the festive period offered them the opportunity to catch up on lost time.
Some beach resort managers lamented the loss of investment made ahead of the Yuletide.
Mr Daniel M. K. Okeoti, the Chief Executive Officer of Laboma Beach Resort in Labadi, told the GNA that the directive had forced several groups, which had booked the Resort for events ahead of the festivities, to cancel their orders.
“The timing of the whole directive is wrong. How can you give such a directive barely a day to the festivity? We have made lots of investments just to keep this place and make it ready for our clients but now most of them have called off their events and cancelled the orders.
How do we recoup these investments?” He decried.
He appealed to the Greater Accra Regional Minister to reconsider the directive and allow the beaches to operate with strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Ghana and the rest of the world are witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases over the last couple of weeks, basically driven by the outbreak of the Omicron variant.
Ghana’s COVID-19 active cases as of Dec 21, 2021, stood at 5,112, with health officials warning of a massive outbreak if measures were not put in place to curtail the spread of this Yuletide.
Meanwhile, nearly seven million (6,924, 267) doses of vaccine had been administered as of Dec 20.