President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced the reopening of all tourist sites and attractions across the country in Phase Two of the easing of the restrictions in the fight against coronavirus.
In his 14th update on Sunday, July 26, the president stated that with immediate effect, all the tourist sites as well as open-air drinking spots can now begin to receive visitors.
“The management of these facilities are tasked to enforce enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols,” he cautioned, stressing, however, that “beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs, however, remain closed until further notice”.
The closure of churches and schools on Sunday, March 15 came with a ban on social gatherings as per the Imposition of Restrictions Act, Act 1012.
Exactly a week later and in pursuant to President Akufo-Addo’s directives as per the Act, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) announced that all beaches and tourist centres be closed.
National Security operatives as well as marine police were deployed on Tuesday, March 24 to patrol all beaches, particularly, to “ensure compliance with the closure”.
“The general public and tourist business operators are urged to be mindful of the precautionary measures announced by the President of the Republic to fight the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Authority said in a statement in March.
There was controversy, however, in two months later, when the Authority issued a statement interpreting sections of the Act to allow sit-ins and pick-up delivery services for hotels and restaurants.
It also said drinking bars could operate provided the social distancing protocols were observed.
But this was quickly countered by the Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi.
She indicated that night clubs and beaches would remain closed as they were not part of Phase One of the easing of restrictions as announced by President Akufo-Addo then.
On Sunday, July 26, the president indicated that he took his latest decision in consultation with the Authority and health experts.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana