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Business - February 3, 2021

Coronavirus restrictions: Open air bars can operate – GTA clarifies

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The Ghana Tourism Authority, (GTA) will within the next few days carry out enforcement of the COVID-19 restrictions imposed on the hospitality sector.

The police would assist the GTA in the joint operation.

The restrictions were re-imposed on Sunday in the President’s 23rd address to the nation.

In the latest imposition of restrictions, beaches, night clubs and pubs are seriously affected. Restaurants on the other hand are directed to as much as possible provide take- away services and avoid seated services.

Speaking on the 3FM Sunrise Morning Show, the Chief Executive Officer of the GTA Akwasi Agyemang said “The closed areas are where the challenges are because when you have an enclosed environment with air conditioning which is typically what a pub is in our definition then that is where we have the problem so markets are opened so open-air drinking bars where people are sitting outside I don’t think those have been closed and we wanted to make that clear. The President was very clear he said pubs he didn’t even mention bars”.

He added “If you take the events, for example, the events’ organizers themselves drafted their own directives we said okay they said they can operate we said give us the directive and let us go and discuss with the health authorities; they brought the directive we have taken it and it has now become the directives and then all of a sudden people are trying to cut corners and be it as it may we are chasing after them in addition to doing the work that we do. We have gotten to the point where it is no longer going to close it down and then we turn back. We are going to start the prosecution”.

The Government and for that matter, the GTA have come under sharp criticism because despite the imposition of restrictions, beaches, bars, and pubs were still operating.

According to Akwasi Agyeman, “The law says don’t operate when we have gone there sometimes in the middle of the night the place is closed, the next day or two somebody sends you a picture and said I took it from this pub but you go there and then you go there they would deny that it’s an old video, it is like playing cat and mouse games with us but now we have adopted a different approach with the police. We are going straight to prosecution”. He explained.

Source: 3 News/ghanaweb

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