Two state institutions in Ghana have been in a tussle over the re-opening of drinking bars despite the ban on public gatherings.
The ban was imposed by the country’s President Nana Akufo Addo some two months ago as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID -19.
As part of the restrictions, restaurants and other eateries were also directed to offer only delivery services.
The Ghana Tourism Authority which is the regulator for players in the hospitality sector had ordered drinking bars to re-open in compliance with exemptions granted under the EI 64 which imposes restrictions to curb the spread of COVID -19.
The GTA also directed restaurants to offer sit-down services in addition to the delivery services whilst observing the COVID-19 safety protocols.
“Drinking bars can operate while observing appropriate social distancing and hygiene protocols. But all night clubs must remain closed.
In all situations, hospitality facilities should observe the staff management and workplace protocols and precautionary measures on public gatherings with the view of achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols as spelt out in the Imposition of Restrictions” the GTA said in a statement.
The decision was hailed by the Drunkards Association of Ghana which said its members can now heave a sigh of relief.
In a sharp rebuttal though the Ministry for Tourism, Arts and Culture shot down the directive.
In a statement, the Ministry said all drinking bars must remain closed in compliance with an order from President Akufo Addo.
The statement also asked restaurants to offer only takeout and delivery services.
The development has triggered calls for the dismissal of the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority.