With the re-opening of the Seychelles International Airport | 29 July 2020
Seychellois, resident permit holders to stay at home under passive surveillance for 14 days
Guidelines that are to come into play as of August 1, when Seychelles re-opens its borders to commercial flights, were the focus of yesterday’s health press conference at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre.
Public health commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon, explained that entry into the country would be conditional based on the pandemic situation in the country they are travelling from.
August 1 will also be the day on which face masks are to be made mandatory in all public health facilities.
All Seychellois and persons holding resident permit who have spent at least 14 days in a permitted country will be able to enter Seychelles and can stay in their own homes under passive surveillance for 14 days.
Seychellois coming in from a high risk country will have to submit an application to public health and will be quarantined on arrival in the country. They will have to bear the cost for their quarantine and PCR tests.
“Besides the PCR tests, people who are coming in from high risk countries will have to fill in a short application form that has to be sent to the public health and the reply would be communicated to you,” Dr Gedeon said.
“The reason being is people from high risk countries will have to be met at the airport to be transferred directly into quarantine.”
Persons who transit in high risk countries will also have to go into quarantine if they exit the plane while transiting.
“For those with a resident permit or work permit, if they are from approved countries they may return on the same conditions as Seychellois but if they are from a high risk country they will have to postpone their return, unless their work in a critical service – in that case they will have to go into quarantine,” Dr Gedeon said.
Dr Gedeon noted that all passengers, including returning residents, must submit proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test to the Public Health Authority that is less than 72 hours prior to boarding flights.
Submission forms for these have been made available on the department of tourism and department of health’s websites.
Passengers will have to present the same COVID-19 negative tests results when checking-in for their flight to Seychelles.
Additionally, airlines will not board any passengers or crew who display symptoms of the virus.
Any visitor who arrives in Seychelles without proof of a negative COVID-19 test will be put back on the same aircraft they arrived on.
Visitors will also have to provide proof of accommodations upon arrival and will not be able to reside at more than two accommodations during their stay.
Starting August 1, only visitors coming from the department of health’s approved list of countries will be allowed entry into Seychelles.
The approved list, which is revised periodically, comprises low and medium risk countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Switzerland and Mauritius.
Countries that have yet to bring the spread of COVID-19 under control are considered as high-risk countries.
The public health authority is presently discouraging Seychellois from travelling abroad now that the airspace is once again open, especially if it is not necessary since they will be taking additional risks.
Even travelling to a low and medium risk country can be risky since the destination can migrate to the high-risk country category depending on the situation in said country.
“However if the person still wants to travel, there will be conditions; they will have to pay for their quarantine and tests prior to travelling to a high risk country. Medical leave will not apply when in quarantine,” Dr Gedeon added.
During their quarantine stay or isolation, employment laws will take effect on the returning residents wherein days will be deducted from their annual leave or, if they have none, will get leave without pay.