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Seychelles takes measures to address threat of new variant of Covid-19 | 23 December 2020

With effect from December 31, South Africa will no longer feature on the list of countries from which visitors may travel to Seychelles.

Between Wednesday December 23 and Thursday December 31, 2020 all visitors arriving from South Africa will not be permitted to stay in their private residence, but will have to book in a category 2 establishment for at least 10 days before being tested, and if negative can complete the remaining 4 days at home or in a Category 1 establishment.

From Wednesday December 23, Seychellois, permanent residents and approved GOP holders entering from South Africa will be required to go into facility quarantine for at least 10 days before being tested, and if negative can complete the remaining 4 days at home or approved residence.

With effect from Monday December 28, the United Kingdomwill no longer feature on the list of countries from which visitors may travel to Seychelles. Seychellois, permanent residents and approved GOP holders may continue to travel from the United Kingdom to Seychelles under existing conditions.

These measures will be in effect until the end of January 2021, and will be subject to reviews before that date.

“These measures are necessary to address the threat of the new variant of Covid- 19 which is known to be more contagious and is now rampant in parts of United Kingdom and South Africa,” says Public Health Commissioner Dr Jude Gedeon.

The Public Health Authority proposed these new measures to the Safe Tourism Task Force, led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism this week and the Task Force has accepted to put them into place.

“Many countries have imposed travel restrictions on travellers from the UK, in a bid to prevent the spread of this new variant. South Africa is also experiencing the rapid spread of a new variant, and similarly, cases are increasing rapidly,” adds the Public Health Commissioner

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 cases and the number of people dying from the infection continue to rise globally. Several countries are reintroducing new restrictions, including lockdowns, in a bid to curb the surges.

Why taking so long to put a ban on visitors coming from the UK when other countries in the region have already took these measures? Dr Gédéon explained that British Airways already has two scheduled flights to Seychelles per week and they already had flights booked. “But as usual all visitors will have to observe their quarantine once landing in Seychelles. As from December 28, British Airways will stop coming for a month but there are other routes that people can use to go back to the UK. Seychellois wanting to come back to Seychelles are always welcome anytime and they just have to complete their quarantine in the quarantine centre,” concluded Dr Gédéon.

 

Ministry of Health/Vidya Gappy

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