Ghana Tourism Ministry: Alcohol On-Trade Should Remain Closed
The Tourism Ministry of Ghana has confirmed that on-trade sale of alcohol should remain closed as the country relaxes COVID-19 lockdown laws.
Earlier the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), the regulatory body for tourism in the country issued a statement with conflicting news which stated alcohol on-trade, such as through bars, can start operations. Due to this the Ministry of Tourism issued a statement clarifying that on-trade alcohol outlets such as bars should remain closed along with night clubs and that restaurants and food chains can only operate delivery and takeout services.
The statement also read that directives issued by the Ministry circular supersedes previous directives by the regulatory body.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised for alcohol availability restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures for several reasons, including:
- Alcohol weakens the immune system making people more susceptible to the virus,
- Alcohol harms physical and mental health of people,
- Driving under the influence of alcohol increases road accidents, death and injury,
- Alcohol is linked with violence, specifically domestic violence,
- All of the above increases the burden on healthcare systems, emergency services and drains resources which are needed to fight the pandemic, and
- Gathering to consume alcohol threatens physical distancing measures.