Visitors from across the world are now being welcomed back into Seychelles, irrespective of their vaccination status, after the Indian Ocean island destination has taken a rigorous approach to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
All the islands have been blessed with many natural assets and attributes including possessing a near-perfect and disease-free climate; an endless list of world-beating beaches; a sanctuary for some of the world’s rarest species of flora and fauna and an enviable conservation record whereby almost half of the 455 sq km landmass has been set aside as natural parks and reserves.
There are also no less than two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Aldabra atoll, the planet’s largest raised coral atoll, and the extraordinary Vallée de Mai where the legendary, double-lobed coconut, the Coco-de-Mer grows high on ancient palms in a setting so surreal it was once thought to be the original site of the Garden of Eden.
The announcement to allow all foreign travellers in (South Africa travellers will still not be permitted to enter Seychelles for the time being until further review) was made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde in a press briefing on March 4, at the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) conference room at Botanical House following the Tourism Task Force Committee meeting.
Visitors will now only be required to present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure. There will be no quarantine requirement nor restriction on movement upon entry into Seychelles. Additionally, the minimum stay in establishments upon arrival will no longer be applicable. However, visitors will still be required to adhere to other public health measures put in place in view of the pandemic, these will include wearing face masks, social distancing, and regular sanitisation or hand washing. The new measures also give visitors access to all communal areas within hotel premises inclusive of bars, swimming pools, spas and Kids’ clubs.
Minister Radegonde stated that the decision to review and relax the entry procedures in the country has been made possible in view of the success registered in the aggressive vaccination campaign that the country embarked on earlier in the year.
“The vaccination campaign has been quite successful. The government has done everything in its power to make sure that the population is protected. We have now arrived at the point where opening our borders further is the next step to allow for our economic recovery. The measures being announced reflect broadly the recommendation of our tourism partners and have been done in full consultation with and the endorsement of our health authorities.”
The small island nation off the east coast of Africa whose economy is based primarily on tourism was the first African country to launch a bold, comprehensive and effective Covid-19 immunisation campaign, in January 2021.
The destination will continuously review the new entry measures to ensure that at all times the health and safety of the visitors and the local population are not compromised. More details will be available through the updated travel advisory on tourism.gov.sc.
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