Ghana - COVID 19 Update
We have received the below quoted advice from our correspondent in Ghana, TCI Ghana / Eldvedt & O’Sullivan.
IMPORTANT - Please be guided that the need to evidence crew and passengers onboard vessels arriving in Ghana are vaccinated against COVID-19, or in the alternative, that they are vaccinated at anchorage (Johnson & Johnson), before free pratique is granted, is already in force. Whilst the Ghana Health Service have withdrawn the Notice of Enforcement applicable to International Travellers through various Points of Entry into Ghana, related to the proposed fine of $3,500 per non-vaccinated person, it is indicated this may still be introduced towards the end of February, or beginning of March 2022.
1) As vaccination for all persons entering GHANA is now compulsory, the Port Health Authority will start now making sure that all vessels coming in Ghana have their crew fully vaccinated.
The Port Health will board the vessel as usual but before lowering the yellow flag to grant the free pratique, they will check the vaccination cards for each crew member (exactly the way they use to do for yellow fever). A Covid19 non-vaccinated crew member will be immediately vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson and freely. The vessel will not get the free pratique when there is a non-vaccinated crew member on board.
2) They wanted to impose a fine of 3500.00 USD to the vessel per non-vaccinated from 15/01/2022 but for now they set aside the fine as they want the info to spread to all shipowners bringing vessels in Ghana. That is why the vaccination is FREE for now. The free pratique will be allowed only after making sure that all crew members are vaccinated.
3) The Port Health have only Johnson & Johnson. If a crew member started his first dose with another type of vaccine, the Port Health will consider and the free pratique will be granted.
4) Only around End of February or Starting March, when they will realize that shipowners have been informed enough, they may start imposing fines.
These are the clarifications we got from the Tema Port Health superintendent.
We recommend Owners whose vessels are due to call at ports in Ghana, check the vaccination status of their crew and any passengers on board against COVID-19, which will need to be evidenced to the Ghana Health Service. Advice regarding vaccination and whether crew can be compelled to be vaccinated, is addressed within the International Chamber of Shipping Guidelines issued in collaboration with the IGP&I - COVID-19 Legal Liability and Insurance Issues arising from Vaccination of Seafarers Second Edition.