Did Ban on International Travel to and from Ghana Expire on July 31?

A website publication by Tour Telegaph claimed that Ghana’s COVID-19 induced border closure and ban on foreign travels was due to expire on Friday 31st July, 2020.

In a publication on Wednesday July 29, 2020 titled “Africa Reopening for International Tourism – A-Z List of Countries,” the website said that “Ghana has resumed domestic flights within the country. The current international travel ban is set to expire July 31. We are unsure at this time if the ban will be extended or removed.”

The article has been shared by some accounts on Twitter and is also receiving a lot of engagement on Nigerian internet forum, Nairaland.

Fact-checkghana.com finds this claim to be false.

Explanation:

On Saturday March 21, 2020, 10 days after Ghana confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19, President Nana Akufo-Addo announced in a televised address that the country’s international borders were being closed to passengers from March 22, 2020 as part of efforts to stop the importation of COVID-19 cases and curtail spread of the disease.

That was one of the government’s major actions against the spread of COVID-19 and essentially meant that no passenger was allowed to enter or leave the country.

The initial ban was to last for two weeks.

The president subsequently, through the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, announced that the closure of the borders had been extended by two weeks effective April 5, 2020.

On April 19, a day before the ban is expired, President Akufo-Addo in another national address extended the ban for yet another two weeks.

And then on May 1, 2020 at the virtual May Day celebration, he announced again that the ban on international passenger travels had been extended by a month.

The president again on May 31, 2020 said the closure of the borders to human traffic will remain in force “until further notice.”

The government’s last mention of the ban on international passenger travels was by the president on Sunday July 26, 2020 when he addressed the country in a televised broadcast.

In that address, Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that the country’s international borders were closed indefinitely.

“Our borders, by air, land and sea, remain closed until further notice for human traffic,” he said.

It is important to note that despite the closure of the borders, the Ghana government facilitated the evacuation of some Ghanaians locked out abroad and also granted special permissions to some missions in Ghana to repatriate their nationals in Ghana back to their home countries.

With the above chronology, we find that at no point was there any comment or suggestion that the ban on international travel to or from Ghana was due to expire on 31st July, 2020.

Rather the government maintains that the ban is “until further notice” and this was the position publicized three days before the website made its claim.

The claim is, therefore, false.

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Supported by STAR Ghana Foundation with funding from UKAID and the European Union

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