An airport will soon be levying fines against airlines which transport unvaccinated passengers or passengers with a positive COVID-19 PCR test.
Airlines Face Airport Fine For Transporting Unvaccinated Passengers
Ghana Airports, a state-owned company which runs airports in the nation of Ghana, has warned airlines that if they transport passengers who are unvaccinated or who do not have a valid negative COVID-19 test, they will face a $3,500 fine.
The concept of governments fining airlines for transporting unauthorized passengers is hardly a new concept, but Ghana Airport has put more impetus on airlines than I have seen anywhere else in the context of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.
All incoming passengers to Ghana must be vaccinated. Ghanian citizens are exempted until December 28th. The rule primary impacts Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
Airlines have been instructed not only to check for negative PCR tests, but ensure they are valid. It’s easy enough to fake tests, but Ghana Airports requires airlines to use software like PanaBIOS or Global Haven to check the genuineness of a test. Airlines which do not comply will also be fined $3,500.
Finally, airlines will also be fined $3,500 if a passenger has not filled out a health declaration from before arrival.
In what seems particularly punitive, all passengers must test again on arrival, at a cost of $150 for foreign nationals. If a travelers should test positive on arrival, they will be required to quarantine for seven days. That will also a trigger a check of their pre-flight PCR test and prompt serious trouble for both the airline and the passenger if found to be faked.
Transit passengers will be exempt.
As a side note, all passengers departing Ghana by air (even citizens) must be fully-vaccinated. That new rule went into effect on December 14th. Passengers also must presnset a negative COVID-19 test to depart from an approved testing facility and upload that test prior to departure under the country’s “Trusted Travel” program.
Although the concept of fining airlines when passengers do not meet entry requirements is nothing new, the strict testing and vaccine requirements in Accra mark a new revenue opportunity for airports and a very strict approach to dealing with the omicron variant.
image: The Focal Project