COVID-19: Ghana Tourism Authority enforces closure of beaches

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) yesterday, March 24 began a nationwide exercise to ensure that beaches are closed in the wake of the ongoing novel Coronavirus pandemic.

With more than a thousand people under mandatory quarantine and 53 confirmed cases of the virus and two deaths in Ghana currently, GTA says it is sparing no effort in preventing further spread and ensuring safety of citizens.

The exercise comprised a joint team of officials from the Authority, the Ghana Police Service Swat unit and the media. The enforcement was a follow up to directives issued earlier by GTA ordering the closure of all beaches in the country.

The team went to some hotspots known for beach activities where they served them with closure notices and educated their proprietors to ward off mass revellers. They included La Pleasure and Laboma Beaches at Labadi, Nordsee and Feehi Valley Beaches at Korle-Gonno, Shining Beach, Sango Beach and Shushu Beach Resort which are all within the Teshie-Nungua enclave.

On the drive along the corridors of the Sakumono to Tema road, it was observed that most of the beaches were already locked up.
At the Titanic Beach on the same stretch, which was inundated with people last weekend, the personnel interacted with the fisher folk and some operators there and asked them to stop admitting people to the place.

Speaking to journalists after the exercise, Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Akwasi Agyeman said with people less likely to patronize beaches during the weekdays, there was still the need to carry out the exercise so proprietors will ensure they do not allow people to their facilities over the weekend.

“Today being a weekday we do not anticipate seeing crowds at these beaches but we know that if we didn’t make the move and paste the notices and engage the proprietors or the owners, come weekends, the numbers will swell again and then we will have to go back,” he said.

The CEO stated further that part of the exercise was to sensitize the operators of the beaches and the public on the illegality of patronizing these places as government continues to work to stem the spread of the Coronavirus.

Akwasi Agyeman talking to the media after the exercise

“So we’ve taken the precautionary measure of enforcing, putting out notices, and warning that there is currently a law against public gathering as passed by Parliament and so for those who intend to flout the orders of Parliament and by extension, the orders of the President the law will catch up with you. We will go out there strongly to enforce over the weekend to ensure that at least we keep ourselves safe,” Agyeman insisted.

He added that people take the Coronavirus pandemic seriously and do what they can to stay safe and ensure the safety of others too as the rate of infection increases.

“ He said: This COVID-19 is not a joke, let’s not joke with it and we know the numbers are going up and so we must all be safe and keep each other safe by not mingling, social contacting, or do things that we know are risky."

By: Samuel Obeng Appah

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