To enable enterprises and businesses operating in Ghana’s tourism sector to safely reopen their services to the general public amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), has introduced a final COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols for the sector as a course of action to aid tourism businesses to reopen.
The GTA noted that the protocols will be periodically updated under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The guidelines, which are prepared and made available to all tourism enterprises in Ghana (hotels and other accommodation units, restaurants, open drinking spots, car rentals, beaches etc), and are in accordance with the country’s stipulated COVID-19 protocols, is expected to be put in place by management of the various tourism businesses across the country and inspected by the regulator, the GTA.
The guidelines however, excludes the opening of casinos and indoor drinking bars whose operations are still being embargoed by the Presidential Task Force in the interest of the general public.
While the GTA, has said the protocols are to strengthen the tourism sector’s resilience to COVID-19 and safeguard all stakeholders within the tourism value chain (employees, communities, visitors and others), the Authority explained that the guidelines would be issued consistently under the operational protocols of the Presidential task force on COVID-19.
A section of the guideline says: “all tourist sites and attractions may apply to the GTA to be allowed to open after they have put in place the precautionary measures. The GTA would inspect such measures before allowing them to operate”.
Accordingly, the Authority says the measures include: display of ‘no mask, no entry signage’, provision of adequate handwashing apparatus, mandatory checking of temperature, enforced collection of guest contacts, observance of social distancing, display of telephone numbers of health authorities, medical centres at front offices, provision of isolation centres within the tourism facility, regularly disinfecting floors and premises and the designation of additional spacious washrooms.
CEO of GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, said the guideline is in the best interest of the sector and adhering to it, would offer a conducive atmosphere to safely conduct business even in the pandemic.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe