Traveling to Ghana during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

If you’re planning to travel to Ghana, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The basics

Ghana reopened to international flights in September 2020. However, land and sea borders remain closed. All visitors must have proof of a negative test and take a further test on arrival.

What’s on offer

Ghana may be blessed with some of West Africa’s finest beaches, but it’s so much more than a place to sunbathe. Its coastal forts offer an unflinching insight into the slave trade which was run by the British from these shores. The rambling Kejetia Market, in Kumasi, in the southwest of the country, is said to be the largest in this part of the continent, selling everything from jewelry to footwear. In the north, Mole National Park is the ideal place to see some of Africa’s most famous animals, including elephants, hippos and warthogs.

Who can go

All visitors are now allowed into Ghana via Accra, as long as they have a negative test or undertake a second test on arrival at Kotoka International Airport.

What are the restrictions?

Unless they are Ghanaian residents who are returning to the country after having been away for one week or less, all passengers aged five and over must have proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and also undertake an additional antigen test on arrival.
This costs $50 per passenger for Ghanaians and citizens of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and $150 for everyone else, with results available within 30 minutes. Payment must be made online prior to boarding the flight to Ghana.
Ghanaian residents who have left Ghana for one week or less do not need to present a negative PCR test for departure, but still have to undertake the mandatory antigen test on arrival.
In April, Ghana began digital verification of Covid-19 test results, to combat the circulation of fake results.
Anyone testing positive on arrival will immediately be transferred to hospital for further assessment. Non-residents required to isolate in a government health facility must do so at their own cost, while for Ghanaians the cost will be covered by the state.
All passengers must complete an online health declaration form and may be asked to do so again on board before landing.

What’s the Covid situation?

Ghana had registered 96,317 cases of Covid-19 and 796 deaths as of July 5.
The US has moved Ghana to its Level 1 travel advisory, putting it among the world’s lowest-risk destinations, where travel is permitted and full vaccination is advised.
Source: CNN Travel

How to tour Ghana on a low budget

Touring in Ghana can be expensive or cheap depending on your plan or budget for your trip. For a tourist to tour on a low budget, the tourist needs to consider their accommodation, meals and how much they want to spend on transportation.

Spending on a low budget helps tourists save enough money to do other things like book an extra tour, buying souvenirs  at tourist sites and involving themselves in other tour activities. Tourists can make their tour operators aware of their budget when booking a tour so that they can help them book based on their budget and what they can afford.

To tour on a low budget, you should consider booking your accommodations in hostels, motels, airbnbs or other cheap hotels. Accra has many of these types of accommodations you can look out for. You can visit TripAdvisor or for great recommendations on some cheap accommodations you can consider.

To save money on transportation, you can opt to use the infamous commercial buses in Ghana called ‘Trotro’. They are very cheap even though it can sometimes be a hustle getting from one place to another. If you are looking to travel in more comfort, you can try Uber, Bolt or Yango which are relatively cheaper than taxis. If you ever decide to use taxis, make sure you have your bargaining cap on to get the best price for your trip.

For meals, you can try local chop bars or even some street foods which are very popular among locals in Ghana because they are cheaper and sometimes tastier. There are also a few restaurants like Chop Shop and Dimaensa which serve local dishes at affordable prices.

It is important for tourists to spend on a low budget, especially if it is  their first time in the country they are visiting. You can always ask your tour guide for other recommendations that would suit your budget.