The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) last Friday embarked on an enforcement exercise at some major beaches in Accra to ensure ban on social gatherings.
The exercise followed the President’s directive on social gathering and social distancing to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the country.
A joint team of officials from the Authority, the Ghana Police Service Swat unit and the media undertook the exercise.
They visited places such as the La Pleasure Beach and LabomaBeach Resort at Labadi, Titanic Beach at Sakumono and some other beaches at Kokrobite.
They placed notices on all entrances to the beaches to serve as warning to revellers who might still want to massup at the place.
The notices had the inscription “Notice of closure:the public is hereby informed that this facility has been closed down for failing to meet the requirements provided under Legislative Instrument (L.I 2238 and 2239)”.
Earlier, the authority had closed down some of these beaches to ensure compliance of the President’s directive ahead of the festive season.
They included the NordseeBeach Resort, Sunrise Resort, Korle Beach Resort and Feehi Valley Beach, all at Korle-Gonno in Accra.
Others were the La Pleasure Beach and LabomaBeach Resort at Labadi, andShining Beach at Nungua.
However, during the exercise, it was observed that some of these beaches such as the La Pleasure Beach and LabomaBeach Resort had adhered to the directives.
At the Kokrobite beach, revellers were seen having fun by way of swimming and other activities with the preventive measures ignored.
The team educated the beach operators about the COVID-19 outbreak and the preventive measures they could put in place to avoid the spread in their facilities.
Speaking to the media after the exercise, the officer in charge of Standards and Quality Assurance at GTA, Mr Kwabena PokuBosompem, said the operation had become necessary due to the surge in the spread of the COVID-19.
“Today being a holiday, we anticipate seeing crowds at these beaches but we know that if we don’t make the move to serve them notices and stop them, the numbers will increase even after enjoying the New Year,” he added.
He said the exercise was not going to be a nine day wonder but would be a routine thing in all the regions to ensure the President’s directive was adhered to.
“We are not stopping today and this is conducted across the country and we will deploy security personnel to regularly check on these places to ensure the protocols are observed. Anyone who fails to comply with the directives would be prosecuted”, he said.
Mr Samuel Neequaye, Operations Manager at La Pleasure Beach Resort, who was perturbed by the situation appealed to government to come to their aid.
“We plead with the government to ease the restriction since we are suffering for the past eight months. We know people’s lives matter but he should give us some guidelines as given to others to also save our work. We are losing our jobs and it’s very appalling”, he pleaded.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR