Following Travel News’s breaking story on Friday concerning necessary requirements for South Africans to visit Seychelles, it is now clear that South African residents are welcome to visit, with the only requirement a COVID PCR test taken 72 hours before departure.
More good news is that, from the beginning of November, Air Seychelles will resume flights between Johannesburg and Mahé.
This follows the Seychelles adding South Africa to its list of countries whose residents may visit the island for tourism.
“We’re extremely excited about being able to come back to South Africa and have South Africans come here,” Charles Johnson, Air Seychelles chief commercial officer told Travel News, adding that South Africa was one of the island’s largest source markets.
During November, Air Seychelles will operate one weekly flight on Saturdays and from December, the airline will offer three flights per week with the addition of flights on Tuesdays and Fridays.
In November, the Saturday flights will depart Johannesburg at 13h50 and arrive in Mahé at 20h45, with return flights departing Mahé at 09h25 and arriving in Johannesburg at 12h30.
In December, the Friday and Saturday flights will depart Johannesburg at 23h50 and arrive in Mahé at 06h45 the next day, with return flights departing Mahé at 19h25 and arriving in Johannesburg at 22h30. The Tuesday flights will depart Johannesburg at 13h50 and arrive in Mahé at 20h45, with return flights departing Mahé at 09h25 and arriving in Johannesburg at 12h30.
Charles said the Friday and Saturday flights in December were evening flights that would arrive on Saturday and Sunday mornings, allowing travellers to maximise their holiday time. “It also allows for people to make instant connections to the outer islands without having to overnight in Mahé.” The airline’s flight schedule previously did not allow for this.
Air Seychelles no longer has a codeshare agreement with SAA and all tickets must be booked using the HM code. The airline is working toward an interline agreement with another South African-based carrier for domestic connections, but this won’t be live until early next year
Seychelles has opened its borders for tourism with two categories of permitted countries.
Category 1 is for residents of countries that are deemed low or medium risk. These travellers will be required to produce a negative COVID PCR test no older than 72 hours before departure and will not be subject to quarantine or further conditions. South Africa has just been added to this list, along with Botswana, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.
Category 2 is for residents from countries that have been deemed high risk but given special status. These travellers will be required to present a negative COVID PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure and will have to stay at a designated hotel or resort for five days. While they will not be quarantined in their hotel room, they will not be able to leave the property. On the fifth day, they will undergo a COVID PCR test and, if negative, they will be able to proceed and enjoy the rest of their holiday with no restriction. If the test results are positive, the visitor will be required to stay in a designated stay-safe hotel until cleared by the Seychelles Public Health Authority. The test will be free of charge. Travellers from these countries are required to have valid travel insurance with full medical cover for the duration of their stay.
The countries in Category 2 are France, the UAE and the UK.