As part of measures to ensure that more people are vaccinated against COVID-19 in Ghana, the government is in the process of introducing a policy to deny persons without vaccination certificates access to entertainment centres.
The yet-to-be-implemented directive comes on the back of the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the wake of the new variant, Omicron, detected in the country.
Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu announced this at a media engagement in Accra on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.
He said going forward, verification of COVID-19 vaccination cards “is going to be mandatory” before people “visit the following venues; nightclubs, beaches, sports stadiums and restaurants.”
“For all those who want to visit indoor restaurants, they should be vaccinated because we will have a way to check their vaccination cards. This Christmas, if you want to go out and enjoy yourself, you need to go with your vaccination cards. These are things we are introducing at this time, and we will give the specific dates that this will be effective from early January. So we have about three to four weeks to ensure that everyone is vaccinated for these measures to be in force.”
The Ministry of Health has also activated mandatory COVID-19 safety protocols to avert a possible fourth wave of the virus in the country.
This includes the compulsory vaccination of a specific group of persons the Ministry has identified to be at high risk.
With the fear of a possible surge in COVID-19 numbers after the yuletide, especially after the discovery of the Omicron variant of the virus, the Ministry of Health has declared December as the month of vaccination in a bid to get more citizens vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
Launching the vaccination month in Accra, the sector Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu said this is in line with the president’s vision of vaccinating 20 million Ghanaians by the end of 2021.
The new measure according to the Minister is that, all health workers, security personnel, staff and students above 15 years, government workers, commercial drivers, and okada riders, are to be vaccinated before the end of December 2021.
The vaccine certificates of these groups of persons will be inspected to ensure that the protocol is complied with.
“By the authority that has been bestowed on us by the Public Health Act and its relative clauses, we are declaring the following persons vaccinated before January; all health workers, all security personnel, all staff and students in secondary and tertiary institutions aged 15 and above, all workers in government institutions including parastatals and all commercial drivers especially long-distance drivers, tro-tros, Ubers and all kind of people who drive people around and okadas. We will have a way of inspecting certificates before you are allowed to do your trip. We are giving ourselves December, that is why we are scaling up for advocacy before legislation.”
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says it has detected the COVID-19 Omicron variant at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The strain was discovered on Sunday, November 21, 2021, in a Nigerian traveller.
It however, said the variant has not yet been discovered within the community.