On May 13, 2020, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, issued a statement signed by Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, the sector minister, to reiterate the pronouncement by the president on the extension of the ban on social gathering.
The press release was to take precedence over an earlier circular from the Ghana Tourism Authourity (GTA), which purported to say, restaurants, drinking bars, and food chains, must accept people to eat-in, but must observe the social distancing and other Covid-19 prevention guidelines.
True to prediction that, the coronavirus would alter the way of life of people, Ghana had to join the rest of the world in enforcing some protocols that will ensure that people do not congregate at one place.
President Akufo-Addo, on March 27, announced the partial lockdown of the Greater Accra region and Greater Kumasi and its surrounding areas.
However, in order to save the economy which was suffocating under the yoke of the lockdown, in lifting the lockdown, the government directed that, restaurants and food chains, can operate takeout and delivery services, but drinking bars, as well as night clubs, remain closed.
The reason is that, a drunkard has no control of his or her senses and might just do the opposite of what he or she is advised not to do.
This newspaper notes with concern that, this directive is not been adhered to, as many restaurants and drinking spots are operating in blatant disregard to the notice of the government.
It is not enough to issue directives and not follow through with it. Asking people not to congregate is one of the most difficult things to ask of them, because they are not used to it.
Directives are given for a reason and so as a newspaper, we urge the ministry, together with all allied bodies to go round the city to ensure that, drinking bars, remain closed, while restaurants only attend to takeout.
We cannot continue to pretend that things are okay, what is out there is different from what is put on paper.
Most drinking bars and restaurants are flouting the directives in the full glare of the public, because they know directives in this country, are as worthless as the paper, they are printed on.