Former President John Mahama has called for an end to the $50 compulsory PCR test for travellers who have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, he said the government must stop the demand for originating PCR test before the same category of travellers were allowed to board flights to Ghana.
“It is a most unfortunate situation that Ghanaians who have valid vaccination certificates cannot board flights back home without a 90 pounds PCR test and an additional $50 PCR test,” he said.
He said he travelled last month to London on British Airways and was pleasantly surprised when he was informed that he did not require a COVID-19 PCR test to board the flight.
Mr Mahama explained that while he was still required to fill a locator form, no further tests were required of him for the 12 days he stayed in the UK.
“Imagine my shock when British Airways informed me that I would be required to take a PCR test before I am allowed to board my return flight home.
“They explained that this is because of the regulations in Ghana. It costs 90 pounds to have the test done. I was also informed that I would not be checked in for the flight back unless I filled an online form and paid a fee of $50,” he said.
According to him, from his recent experience with PCR testing and COVID regulations at the country’s airport, he thought it was time for government to review the procedures and processes.
“It is an inconvenience, a financial burden and actually unfair to compel our citizens, who we encouraged to take COVID-19 vaccinations, with some taking the boosters, to pay as much as 90 pounds to a foreign clinic for a PCR test before they are allowed to board flights coming back home.
“And even more ridiculous, they must book another $50 PCR test to be conducted on arrival in Accra,” he emphasised.
According to him, the UK government considered the Ghanaian COVID-19 vaccination card internationally accepted and allowed entry once “you have the card without any testing”
Former President Mahama said the reason for UK rolling back its COVID-19 restrictions was that deaths were down and severe cases requiring intensive care were down and besides, they believed it was time for those in Ghana to do same.
“The long border closures have devastated the economy of our border communities. Government’s announcement that it is deliberating at Cabinet about a possible opening of our land borders was long overdue.
“Let’s open the land borders now,” he said.