-Liberia Reopens Airport
By Mark N. Mengonfia
Liberia on Monday received its very first flight after the country closed her borders to international travels with a straight health protocols put into place for travelers to follow.
Appearing on Truth FM morning Talkshow, the Public Relations Officer of the Robert International Airport, Ebenezar Mass Wilson said in keeping with the mandate from the President of Liberia and health authorities, the country officially opens to Commercial flights Monday June 29, 2020.
He indicated that the first flight in Liberia was Brussels Airlines and on June 30, 2020 flights are expected to leave Liberia as well.
According to Mr. Wilson, while it is true that they have opened the country for commercial activities, they are cognizant of the reality that COVID-19 is still around and as such; all preventive measures are to be observed.
He indicated that as part of the health protocols, all passengers are to arrive at the airport four hours earlier to carry out all checking in processes.
Some of the protocols are mandatory hand washing, mandatory wearing of facemasks, have a mandatory testing for COVID-19 within 72 hours before arrival into Liberia, only ticketed passengers will be allowed entry into the airport and a special sitting arrangements among others are protocols to be followed by all passengers.
According to him, only a particular number is expected to enter the terminal at a particular time indicating “that is why we called on all passengers to arrive four hours to allow us go through all the health protocols.”
The RIA’s PRO said any passenger who will not follow those health protocols, will not be allowed to enter or leave Liberia through the airport.
When he was questioned about timing of the arrival and departure time owing to the fact that many flights arrive late, the RIA PRO said “it is a sacrifice that everyone has to bear to keep safe, we are not in normal time and we all have to sacrifice until things become normal again.”
March 23rd, the government of Liberia upon discovering the first index case of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) announced a State Of Emergency compelling the closing of school, entertainment centers, public and private institutions were as well restricted thus allowing Liberians and other nationals to work from home while others were sent home to help in decongesting some public and private spaces that were opened in both Montserrado and Margibi counties for the first 21 days of the lockdown in Liberia.
The Roberts International Airport is one of the institutions in Liberia that the restrictions on public gatherings, closure to some limited exceptions affected at which time the country recorded it very first index case of the virus.
Now that the cases have skyrocketed, Liberians are doubtful that the decision by the government to reopen its borders is the right one.