Ghana has announced that the operator of its main international airport will be fining airlines $3 500 for every passenger they bring in that is not vaccinated against COVID-19 or that tests positive for the coronavirus on arrival.
Ghana Airports announced the rules on Monday following others introduced last week by the health ministry that require all people entering Ghana to be vaccinated.
They come into effect for the Kotoka International Airport in the capital Accra on Tuesday.
The requirements are some of the strictest in Africa where vaccine uptake has been slow due to lack of supply and logistical challenges, and come as the new Omicron variant raises concerns about quicker transmission of the virus.
The new variant was first detected in South Africa and Botswana end of November and has since been detected in many other countries.
Data compiled by Reuters showed that Ghana, one of West Africa’s largest economies that runs on exports of cocoa, gold and oil, has so far vaccinated a little over 5% of its population of 30 million.
According to the data released by its health service, 131 412 infections and 1 239 deaths from COVID-19 have been recorded.
Over the last two weeks, COVID-19 cases recorded at Kotoka airport accounted for about 60% of total infections in the country, the health service said on Friday.