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New digitised travel health advisory launched | 16 September 2020

New digitised travel health advisory launched

PS Renaud (Photo: Thomas Meriton)

As of 4am yesterday morning Seychelles officially launched its online electronic health travel authorisation system.

Alan Renaud, the ‎principal secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, announced the launch in a press interview the same day where he was joined by Renaud Irminger, the chief executive of Travizory, the company who created the new travel system.

“Going forward it is expected that in the coming days visitors will stop using the old forms and email system but instead use this new system to simplify the passenger journey which will also relieve the pressure on airport staff and doctors,” said Mr Renaud.

The purpose of this Seychelles Travel Authorisation (STA) system is to enable resuming travelling safely to Seychelles while continuing to protect citizens from further spread of Covid-19.

“Information submitted by applicants through the STA web site is subject to the same strict privacy provisions and controls that have been established for similar traveller screening programmes and access to such information is limited to those with a professional need to know.

The web site will be operated by the Seychelles government under the rules and regulations as specified by Seychelles Data Protection laws to ensure the privacy of your information,” said PS Renaud.

“Advisory specialises in border security but when Covid-19 hit they decided to update their technology to deal with health screening and we realised that this was the perfect tool for us and we proposed the project to the cabinet of ministers for which they gave the go-ahead three weeks ago,” said PS Renaud.

The project was supported by DICT, Nisti, department of health, tourism department, and many other organisations. Three officers from Travizory also stationed in the country to help with the launch and oversee it for the next three weeks.

Before demonstrating how the system works, Mr Irminger shared his experience travelling under the old system which required filling out forms.

“They will assess the applicant to determine if they should be given permission to enter the country. It will also state if the traveller should be quarantined once they get into the country or go for further examination if the health department is uncertain about their PCR test,” said Mr Irminger.

Although the company is creating a system that will be available in other countries, Seychelles has been given the honour to be the first country in Africa to test the Travizory travel system.

The way the health travel system will work is applicants can visit the official page www.seychelles.govtas.com/application-check or download the Seychelles travel advisory app on the app store or google play store.

Once on the site the visitor must individually fill out the application and include passport details. To make sure the data is entered correctly the system is equipped with a scanner that will scan passports and facial features.

The applicant will be asked to give out their residential country, address, and the names of the country they are travelling from.

They will then be prompted to enter the details of their stay in Seychelles such as duration and accommodation.

Finally, they will be asked to provide copies of PCR tests and other medical tests depending on what country they are coming from.

Once the details are entered applicant will have to pay a $50 fee for the standard application and $100 for last-minute applications.

Mr Irminger noted that to protect its clients from the theft of sensitive information, one of the best payment gateway in the world that does not store card numbers, the website encryption technology is used.

Once payment is completed an email confirming the reception of the application will be sent to you automatically after the application has been completed as well as an email confirming reception of the payment.

An email confirming Approval / Refusal will be sent depending on the details entered.

Mr Renaud commented that the process of application is simple enough that it will take 5-4 minutes to complete it, adding that after launching the site yesterday morning a Seychellois man living in Dubai was the first one to test it and he did it without instructions by following the simple steps.

For the moment only people coming into the country will be able to use the system as it is not a universal travel system.

Incoming visitors will only have the next few days to use the old travel system as it will be compulsory starting on September 18 for everyone visiting Seychelles to use the digitised version.

The app will be paid for through a deal made by the company and the government whereby Travizory will get a service charge from each processed passengers.

Mr Renaud noted that at no point will the government set aside any money as it will pay for itself.

Meanwhile in a press release from the department of civil aviation, ports and marine, the Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon, has said: “Keeping our citizens safe from the pandemic is our number one responsibility. However, we need to enable international travel to let in key workers and specialists and to allow tourism to restart and for our citizens to work again. With our current email and multiple forms, doctors and airport staff were struggling to keep pace with the number of arrivals. We have now given them a tool to focus their attention where it is most needed. After the technology beds-in, we will roll out connected technologies at approved accommodations, to further enhance the passenger experience within our islands, by avoiding unnecessary forms to be filled by travellers at various touchpoints, while simultaneously boosting our contact-tracing capabilities, which benefits our visitors and our citizenry alike.”

For his part Didier Dogley, the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, and chair of the Re-opening of Seychelles Taskforce, has said: “The Travizory technology enables health and tourism authorities to ensure that travellers are only staying at licensed establishments and liveaboards that have been certified. The new technology will allow us to balance the need for tourism to grow and sustain our economy without compromising the health of our citizens. It will have a very positive impact on tourism and the wider economy in the Seychelles, as well as clearly demonstrating Seychelles’ ability to deploy digital solutions.”

 

Christophe Zialor/Press release from the department of civil aviation, ports & marine

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