SEYCHELLES Ministry of Health has issued a new set of conditions of entry to the island group – and South Africans are now allowed entry, without quarantine or vaccination, with effect from Monday, September 13.
The latest restrictions read: “South Africa is removed from list of Restricted Countries.” Entry is now allowed from all countries with the exception of Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal and Pakistan – and this affects any individual who has been in any one of those countries in the 14 days preceding travel to Seychelles.
The document also says there is currently no differentiation of incoming passengers by vaccination status, but says that visitors are “strongly encouraged” to be fully immunised before travel.
Visitors may stay in a certified establishment (of which there are 637 – see here.)
However, all visitors require a negative certificate from a PCR test conducted within 72 hours before departure, plus, before travel they must complete the Health Travel Authorisation at Seychelles.govtas.com. Travellers to Seychelles are also required to have valid travel insurance to cover COVID-19-related quarantine, isolation or treatment. Children up to 17 years are treated the same as the adults with whom they are travelling.
Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, said: “With over 71% of our population fully vaccinated and the vaccination of adolescents 12-18 years well under way, Seychelles is doing what is necessary to keep both its population and its visitors safe.”
The removal of restrictions is also welcome news to a significant number of Eden Island homeowners living in South Africa who will now be able to return to Seychelles with their families.
David Germain, the Tourism Seychelles Regional Director for Africa and the Americas, who is based in Cape Town, greeted the announcement with enthusiasm. “Tourism operators and their staff have all been trained to minimise and mitigate risk posed by COVID-19, developing standard operating protocols in collaboration with the health authorities, earning COVID-safe certification. In South Africa itself, mass vaccination of the South African public has already begun and is taking place nationwide in the country, and this is instilling confidence in travel.” He added that there would be some marketing activities, including virtual training, a Seychelles Africa Virtual Roadshow and travel trade familiarisation trips in November.
Travel News has heard that there will be two flights a week, JNB-SEZ on Saturdays and Sundays and SEZ-JNB on Fridays and Sundays. Flights are to commence during September, and after October 31, it is believed that more flights will be added in November and December.