Hotels, restaurants and bars have been given the green light to operate weeks after they were barred from doing so following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Government stopped operations of some firms within the hospitality industry as part of efforts to curb the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
Hotels and restaurants were among the businesses that were hit hard by Coronavirus-induced restrictions imposed on the country.
The Ghana Hotels Association had earlier called on government to support its members to pay their staff due to low patronage of their facilities.
The Ghana Tourism Authority in a recent statement said hotels and other service providers within the hospitality industry could resume operations albeit with enhanced social distancing protocols.
“All hotels can operate as normal and host their guests, subject to the specified elevated hygiene protocols and social distancing.”
“Food chains and restaurants can operate sit-down, as well as, pickup and delivery services while observing appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols… Drinking bars can operate while observing appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols,” the statement added.
Despite the relaxation of the rules, the Ghana Tourism Authority stated that “all night clubs must remain closed.”
GTA closes beaches in March
On March 23, 2020, the Ghana Tourism Authority announced that all beaches in the country should be closed indefinitely.
This, the authority said, was to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
“The GTA hereby orders all beaches to be closed to the public until further notice. The GTA, with the support of National Security and the Ghana Police Service, will begin patrols of the beaches… to ensure compliance with the closure order.”
Hotels may lay off workers
In an earlier Citi News interview, the President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike said hotel managers may be compelled to lay off workers and stop paying salaries if the government does not step in.
“The stimulus package we are talking about is more or less about how to maintain our staff. A lot of the hotels have been able to pay salaries for the month of March but the challenge is going to be one of April. Quite a number of them have shut down and the big question is what happened to the staff. So we are hoping that, if possible the government could support paying some of the staff members and keep them on the payroll so that when things get better. We don’t want to lay off workers after all the investment in training and then when things change we have to go and recruit again which will be far more expensive. We are not asking for full salary support but something that can sustain them.”