By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Ghana is currently rolling out a phased approach towards lifting COVID-19 restrictions. The first of which was announced last Sunday in President Akufo-Addo’s address to the nation.
In this regard, government through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has set out measures and directives meant to guide the operations of hotels, organisation of events and other related business and activities to ensure the health and safety of both operators and patrons.
Read full protocols below:
Events: Conferences, Awards, Workshops and Weddings
I. Display of “No Mask No Entry” signage and ensure that all patrons are wearing masks on entry. Event organizers may supply facemasks as souvenirs at entrances in case any person arrives without a face mask.
II. Enough Veronica buckets together with tissues and stand-alone sanitizer dispensers must be positioned strategically at venue entrances in a manner as to prevent queueing and crowding. People in a queue must stand at least a meter apart.
III. Strictly washing of hands before entering event venues.
IV. Ushers upon application of hand sanitizers at entrances shall escort guests to their seats
V. Observing strict social distancing of not less than 1 metre.
VI. Maximum of 50% of carrying capacity or 100 people per event
I. To critically observe social-distancing, tables usually designed for 10 chairs shall be reduced to 50% of the current seating capacity take (5 chairs).
II. MCs shall be required to initiate activities/demonstrations that touch on curtailing the spread of Covid-19.
III. As much as possible, PA facilities shall be required to provide at least two microphones: and carefully sanitized after each use.
IV. Use of hand sanitizers at the table should be encouraged.
V. Observing 1-meter distance between guests and at least 1-meter interval in between tables is recommended.
VI. Accredited individuals shall manage events only. i.e. corporate event houses and certified professionals by the associations or recognized professional bodies.
VII. All event organisers must be duly licensed by Ghana Tourism Authority.
VIII. All events shall be time-constrained so as not keep guests for too long.
IX. There shall be the presence of a designated health and safety liaison person amongst the organisers.
I. Venues shall conform to regulatory standards.
II. Venues must have adequate space and COVID friendly washrooms.
III. Washrooms at venues should now have stand-by janitors to clean and disinfect after each visit during an event.
IV. Venues will have to ensure or arrange for uninterrupted supply of services such as water.
Food and Drinks
I. To avoid movement and contact, plates can be placed on guests’ tables in the course of the program so guests can pick their plates for buffets and be served by caterer and staff.
II. Guests can make their cocktail and drink requests through hand gloves wearing waiters and cocktails can be served with disposable cups within the venue
Food and Beverage (Restaurants, Chop Bars, Snack Bars)
All Food and Beverage establishments (Restaurants, chop bars, Highway Rest Stops, Fast Foods, Coffee/Tea Shops, Snack Bars, may operate with the following guidelines;
I. Display of “No Mask No Entry” signage and ensure that all patrons are wearing masks on entry.
II. Provision of soap and running water and hand sanitisers/disinfectant gels with a paper towel at public areas. Guests should be reminded when entering and leaving to wash their hands or disinfect their hands with disinfectant gel, preferably located at the entrance to those facilities.
III. Limit the number of guests for dining to 50% of the current carrying capacity of the restaurant to ensure adequate spacing for seating and to maintain social distancing of at least 1 metre.
IV. Regular disinfection of surfaces. Where use of bleach is not suitable, e.g. telephone, remote control equipment, door handles, buttons in the elevator, etc. then alcohol-based sanitisers (70% and above) must be used.
V. Buffet style of service ( if necessary ) must limit communal handling of serving cutlery.
VI. When necessary, change tongs and ladles more frequently, always leaving these items in separate containers.
VII. Clean and disinfect the buffet surfaces after each service.
VIII. Wearing of mask and protective wear by kitchen staff.
IX. Kitchen staff must wash hands with soap and running water frequently (maximum every 15mins.) and dispose of used paper towel in a bin immediately.
On reopening of tourist sites, the Ghana Tourism Authority is set to engage operators on the way forward.
Night clubs and drinking bars remain closed.