President Akufo-Addo, delivering his 14th nation address on COVID-19, announced the second phase of easing restrictions on public gatherings in the country.
The President permitted tourist sites and open-air drinking spots to function.
“In consultation with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the health experts, I am announcing the reopening of our nation’s tourist sites and attractions, so they can begin to receive visitors. Open-air drinking spots can now function. The management of these facilities are tasked to enforce enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols. Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs, however, remain closed until further notice,” the President stated.
But, according to Nana Ofori Owusu, the lifting of limitations on the drinking spots is a wrong move.
He has questioned the President’s logic that open-air drinking spots should operate amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
He wondered how the President expects the customers to observe the mandatory wearing of nose mask, social distancing and the other necessary COVID-19 safety protocols at the drinking spots.
”So, what’s the purpose of that? The nightclubs won’t be opened but we’ll open bars along the streets…I feel that some of these things is not going to help. With most of the people sitting in open bars, nobody wants to wear the mask because when you can’t wear mask when drinking or you remove the mask to drink and then wear it back. I think this is not the best,” he said during a panel discussion on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo‘.
He also opposed the reopening of tourist sites and attractions saying “I also think that is not the best. Because then why are you closing the others? It must be consistent. That the tourism industry is down; yes, we know the tourism industry is down. The activities in hotels are down but the borders are closed and sometimes it is the borders and all these other things that bring about the activities. So, the borders are closed but we’re going to open up internal tourism”.
He advised the President to be guided by the science and data before taking decisions that will affect Ghanaians.
“We need a better way to deal with it in all due respect and highest of respect to His Excellency . . . I will like the scientific basis for why we’re doing what we’re doing”.