Traveling to BMC During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Following is information that will help volunteers traveling to BMC to be prepared for a smooth travel experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this helps as you prepare to come serve with us again.
Please visit the official KIA website for the latest news, guidelines and updates.
1) You must have a negative PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in your country of origin and it must be administered within 72 hours of your scheduled departure time.
For passengers who transit through other countries before arriving in Ghana, the first country of departure will be the reference point (country of origin).
Note that we highly recommend flying direct from the US to Accra if possible to avoid potential delays/cancellations in Europe due to pandemic travel issues.
2) You will be denied entry if you have “symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 including body temperature > 38°C (100.4°F)”
Even if your COVID-19 test is NEGATIVE, the official KIA guidelines state that they can deny you entry for symptoms or fever. For this reason, our family made sure we had the flu vaccine in the US before coming.
You may wish to postpone your travel if you are showing common cold or flu-like symptoms, despite a NEGATIVE COVID test.
3) You have to complete an online Health Declaration Form before passing immigration in Accra.
It is available here: https://ghs-hdf.org/
4) Upon arrival at KIA, everyone must get a rapid COVID-19 test. The cost is $150 per person and you must pay online before leaving.
You must pay at the following website: https://myfrontierhealthcare.com/Home/Ghana Be sure to print your receipt and you will present it to the officials at KIA before undergoing your COVID test.
The testing process was very orderly and professionally executed. After your nose is swabbed in a cubicle by a nurse, you then proceed to immigration and on to baggage claim. You are not permitted to leave with your baggage until your test result arrives and is NEGATIVE.
The KIA website claims it takes 12 minutes. However, you will spend at least 30 minutes in immigration and baggage claim. Note that some BMC travelers have experienced test result delays upwards of 2 hours.
5) If your airport test is POSITIVE, you will be quarantined by the Ghanaian government for one week at your own personal expense.
Anyone coming must understand that there is a risk that they could be quarantined if their test comes back POSITIVE.
6) The wearing of masks is required in public in Ghana.
In Accra, you will see many people wearing masks and many businesses require hand washing, temperature checks, and masks for entry. There is a hefty fine if you are caught not wearing your mask (minimum $2000, max $10000).
That said, once you reach the northern regions you will observe that “pandemic fatigue” has set in and most Ghanaians are no longer wearing masks. Enforcement has not been consistent and many in the general public believe that COVID is a non-issue in the north.
BMC in Nalerigu, however, continues to require masks for staff, patients, and visitors to the hospital.
7) A NEGATIVE PCR COVID-19 test is required to enter the US
Volunteers will need to plan on returning to Accra 48 hours before their departure flight so that they can get tested for COVID before boarding. We have used labs in Accra for PCR tests and had success getting results within 24hrs.
The most convenient tests can be done at the airport (located in the domestic terminals upon your arrival from Tamale).
Other lab options:
Before your departure we will help you coordinate logistics in order to get your PCR test results prior to your flight. You will need that document for the entirety of your journey back to the US.
8) A COVID-19 Attestation form is required to board flights to the US
The form below must be printed, filled out, signed and presented to your airline to board your flight to the US.