Cruise ship calls banned for two years | 09 May 2020
As part of measures to prevent, or minimise the impact of, a second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country, the tourism department has announced a two-year ban on all cruise ship calls at Port Victoria.
Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine Didier Dogley said the ban is effective immediately and will go until the end of 2021.
Minister Dogley explained that since the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to contain its diffusion are taking a heavy toll on the tourism sector, the government has taken several measures, including financial, to ensure that tourism-related businesses can survive and stay afloat during the COVID-19 difficulties, until the tourism industry picks up.
He noted that the measures are in line with the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) which is the United Nations’ specialised agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
Minister Dogley said besides salary guarantee until June, other available support include soft loans made on terms very favourable to the borrower, and tax holiday – a government incentive programme that offers a tax reduction or elimination to businesses.
He also encouraged employees who are not working to apply for their annual leave and this, he said, will help to lower the cost of operations to the businesses.
Minister Dogley also added that as from next week, the business can start negotiating on redundancies for their foreign employees.