Ghana registered the first confirmed COVID-19 case on March 14, 2020. Starting March 16, the government adopted sweeping social distancing measures and travel restrictions to avert an outbreak, including (i) suspension of all public gatherings exceeding 25 people for four weeks; (ii) closure of all universities and schools until further notice; and (iii) mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for any Ghanaian resident who has been to a country with at least 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, within the last 14 days. On March 23, Ghana closed all its borders to travelers. On March 30, a partial lockdown of major urban areas was implemented. As an oil exporter, Ghana was significantly affected by the volatility in oil prices.
Reopening of the economy. The partial lockdown was lifted on April 23 following expansion of treatment and isolation centers, enhanced testing and contact tracing capacity, increased capacity to produce sanitizers and medicines, and the severe impact of the lockdown on the most vulnerable. Phase One of the process of easing restrictions began on June 5. Provided social distancing restrictions were met, religious services for fewer than 100 congregants were allowed, and schools and universities re-opened so that older students could resume classes ahead of exams. Phase Two started on August 1, lifting restrictions on the number of congregants for religious services and opening tourist sites. However, beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs remain closed. International flights resumed from September 1, subject to enhanced COVID-19 protocols.
New restrictions. Due to rising cases during the second wave, some measures were reintroduced on January 31, 2021, including restrictions on large gatherings and sporting events, restaurants operating on take-away basis only, and increasing the number of shifts and telework in workplaces as possible. COVID-19 tests will be free for Ghanaian citizens. Beaches, pubs, cinemas and nightclubs remain shut down, and land and sea borders continue closed for human traffic. The second wave started to abate in March, and by early June confirmed daily cases averaged around 40.
Vaccination. Ghana was the first country in Africa to receive the COVAX vaccines at the end of February 2021. The vaccination campaign started on March 1, 2021 with the President receiving his shot.