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Visitors from 34 countries can enter Seychelles as from August 1 | 31 July 2020

Visitors from 34 countries can enter Seychelles as from August 1

Dr Louange (left) and Dr Gedeon during the press conference yesterday (Photo: Anel Robert)

Visitors from 34 countries will be able to enter into Seychelles when the country opens its airspace tomorrow, Saturday August 1, 2020.

All travellers – tourists and residents – should do their PCR tests 72 hours prior to boarding flights. Seychellois may come home from any country, but will have to go in quarantine if they are coming from a high risk country.

This was announced by the Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon, in yesterday’s press conference at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre. He was accompanied by Health Care Agency chief executive Dr Danny Louange.

The approved list of countries from which visitors are permitted and which is revised periodically, comprises low and medium risk countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Dr Gedeon and Dr Louange explained that entry into the country would be conditional based on the pandemic situation in the country the visitors and residents are travelling from.

“Seychellois who are returning may return from any country, but if the Seychellois is coming from a high risk country they should go in quarantine. And those coming from the low risk countries will be on surveillance at home where they will have to follow a list of do’s and don’ts. They will not be allowed to go in crowded and public places for 14 days and if they go out from their home they will have to wear masks.”

Dr Gedeon also added that all establishments working with tourists have been prepared. Some already have been certified whereas others will be certified in the coming days.

“The certification allows you to do your business safely following certain rules and procedures set in place. They have received training on how to protect themselves and others.”

 

Outdoor gatherings

As from this weekend, political parties are starting their activities and have they been advised by the department of health?

Dr Gedeon explained that “usually we avoid talking about politics. We talk about gatherings, it could be a meeting, a religious service or a political gathering! Activities that bring people together bring the risk of transmission of diseases. The activity we are referring to is a motorcade and the application came through the police. We expressed our concerns judging on how motorcades were conducted in the past, the kind of interaction there has been and the kind of activity that goes on during such activity. We are not quite comfortable with this activity but the police have given guarantee that they will ensure that all procedures will be followed and they would ensure that the guidance that has been given to the organisers will be adhered to!”

 

PCR tests for students

A PCR test currently costs R5,432 and many students who came back to the country before the lockdown are having difficulty to find the money to pay for the tests.

Dr Gedeon explained that “some of the students returned to the country against the guidance from ANHRD whereas others came back due to long holidays. They have to approach the ANHRD and if we get the recommendation from that institution to have the test done, then it will be done free of cost.”

Dr Gedeon also talked about the myths surrounding the masks.

As for Dr Louange, he confirmed that “no new COVID-19 cases have been detected and there are only three people in isolation and they will be released by today (Friday). With the new guidelines, no one is in the quarantine facilities. Nobody is showing symptoms right now and our team is ever ready to keep the investigation on. We are urging the public to collaborate with us in this fight and as from August 1 all visitors will have to wear masks when they visit one of our facilities. We are also asking the public to use the medicines wisely as the reality is that importing the medicines is becoming expensive. If you already have the medicines at home, please let your doctor know.”

The responsibility is on each and every one of us to protect oneself and to protect the other.

 

Vidya Gappy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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