Tourism Minister, Barbara Oteng Gyasi

Tourism Minister Barbara Oteng Gyasi has apologised for the conflicting statements her office and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) put out last week.

On Monday, May 11, the Authority issued a statement allowing operators in the hospitality industry to reopen their businesses.

The green light was, however, subjected to “specified elevated hygiene protocols” as well as social distancing.

However, the Tourism Ministry issued another statement to nullify the press release by GTA.

Ministry clarified that restaurants (including those in hotels) and other eateries, cannot operate dine-in services. It stated that they can continue to operate takeout and delivery services only.

Speaking on Showbiz A-Z on Joy FM, on Saturday, she said that following the statement from GTA she had heard reports that some of the drinking bars had begun stocking up to start operations although the president’s directives said otherwise.

“Let me first apologise to the general public and especially, our operators that the miscommunication may have impacted,” she told George Quaye, host of the show.

Mrs Oteng Gyasi maintained that drinking bars cannot operate as long as the ban on public activities has been extended to the end of May.

The Tourism Minister said that when issuing their statement later in the week, the ministry was unable to get hold of the management at GTA to question them and work on the way forward.

The two statements may have confused the general public but an immediate correction was needed to prevent the aftermath that may come with opening, she stated.

The Minister added that “there is no harm, we are one entity. The ministry, the regulator, all the agencies under the ministry, we work together.”

She also discredited rumours being speculated that the acting CEO of the GTA Akwasi Agyeman, had been fired for the mishap.