He made the announcement during his ninth address to the nation since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.
Prior to this announcement, some people had called on the President to relax the rules. The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) disagreed.
In a statement they asked government to remain resolute in staying the ban on social gatherings as they believe that “non-adherence to the Covid-19 preventive measures at this point in our collective fight against the disease has a huge potential to erode any gains made so far.”
Pressure group OccupyGhana echoed similar sentiments when it also called for the ban not be relaxed.
They said in a statement that “we believe that relaxing restrictions at this time and lifting the ban on social gatherings would be very risky. Relaxing the restrictions could speed up community spread, expose more vulnerable Ghanaians, increase the number of symptomatic cases and nudge up the case fatality rate.”
President Akufo-Addo in his addressed on Sunday May 10, 2020 did just that.
He said “in my address to workers and the nation on May Day, I announced the extension of the closure of our borders for one more month as a means to continue halting the importation of the virus into our country.
“Tonight, I have come into your homes to announce that the ban on public gatherings as set out in Executive Instrument number 64 has been extended, also to end of the month ie May 31,” he added.
This means that during this period, there will continue to be a ban on public gatherings such as the holding of conferences, workshops, parties, night clubs, drinking spots, beaches, festivals, political rallies, religious activities and sporting events.
Also, all educational facilities, private and public, will remain closed.
President Akufo-Addo stressed that there is still a ban on funerals, other than private burials conducted with not more than 25 persons.
“It is noteworthy that the police are arresting and prosecuting persons irrespective of their status in society who flout these regulations,” the president noted.
He added that “we cannot allow a few persons with their narrow selfish interest to jeopardize the health, wellbeing and safety of the larger population. If you fall foul of the law, you will face its full rigors.”
President Akufo-Addo said while he would like to see an end to the restrictions, they are necessary if Ghana is to make any meaningful strides in the Covid-19 fight.
“Most of us want to hang out with our families, friends and loves ones in a social setting but cannot. Uncomfortable as these restrictions have been, we have no option s but to stay the course
“We can only guarantee the safety of each other if we continue to adhere to them. As I have said before these restrictions cannot abs will not be a permanent feature of our lives.
“Shortly, I hope to announce the steps for systematically easing the restrictive measures to bring us back to normality,” he added.