A day after announcing that Seychelles would reopen to all South African travellers, the destination has overturned the decision and is once again prohibiting travellers from South Africa from visiting the islands.
“The advisory was updated yesterday on June 1 and visitors from South Africa are not allowed to enter the Seychelles,” confirmed Seychelles Tourism Board regional director Africa and the Americas, David Germaine, on June 2.
David was unable to relate the reason behind the overturning of the decision, and said only that the situation remained very fluid at present. However, according to a Seychelles insider, the flip-flopping is the result of a political battle of wills between two Seychelles government departments.
“Visitors who have been in South Africa, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan within the 14 days preceding arrival in Seychelles will unfortunately be restricted entry,” stated the updated advisory.
Maldives route unaffected
Chief commercial officer of Air Seychelles, Charles Johnson, expressed his devastation over the latest regulatory about-face. He said while Air Seychelles would now not be able to reinstate the Johannesburg-Seychelles route this month, the airline remained committed to operating its Johannesburg-Maldives route, which is expected to commence on June 11.
“These flights will operate between Johannesburg and Malé in the Maldives every Friday, returning to Johannesburg via the Seychelles every Saturday. We will also introduce additional frequencies in July and August,” said Charles.
He added that Air Seychelles was also allowing anyone who had purchased a ticket to Seychelles on Air Seychelles in June the option of upgrading their destination to the Maldives at no additional charge.
Owner of JMC Travel, Jenny Kutlu, expressed extreme frustration at the changing regulations, asking how agents were supposed to trust any communications relating to travel to Seychelles at present. “It is we that are left to sort out the resulting problems at the end of the day,” added Jenny.