The “No Payment, No entry” policy for inbound airline passengers, which was deferred last week at the instance of international airlines operating in the country, comes into effect on September 21.
By this new policy, incoming airline passengers must pay online for the mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival at Kotoka International Airport before boarding their flights, according to a directive by Frontier HealthCare, the COVID-19 test provider, and the Ghana Airports Company.
Before boarding their flights to Accra, passengers would have to show proof of payment for the test to airlines.
The payment portal, myfrontierhealthcare.com, is now functional and accepts Visa and MasterCard payments only.
Some airlines have however complained about the limited payment options, arguing that many Ghanaian travellers do not carry electronic payment cards.
“Most of them don’t carry any electronic payment cards to be able to pay online. They should have the flexibility to pay cash when they arrive,” an airline operator told Business24.
Ghana reopened its airport for international flights on September 1, following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions which had been in place since March, when the country detected its first positive cases.
The government and airport authorities instituted a compulsory testing regime upon arrival for all international passengers, at a cost of US$150 per test or a flat rate of GH¢900.
The reopening of the airport, as part of a broader relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, has led to predictions that Ghana’s 2020 economic growth will fare better than earlier projected when the virus struck the nation.
In July, the government forecast an annual economic growth rate of 0.9 per cent, which analysts now think could be bettered despite the economic contraction experienced in the second quarter of the year.
GDP for the second quarter shrank by 3.2 per cent, reflecting the impact of coronavirus restrictions, after posting an expansion of 4.9 per cent in the first quarter.
The travel and tourism industry remains one of the most damaged sectors by the pandemic, with many businesses still shut and unprecedented job losses recorded.