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Covid-19 measures | 09 January 2021

Travellers from Seychelles to UK need to self-isolate


Seychelles has lost its quarantine exemption in the United Kingdom and as of 4am today, January 9, 2021, all travellers leaving the country for the United Kingdom will have to self-isolate.

The country has been removed from the list of countries, territories and regions on the travel corridor in the United Kingdom as a result of the hike in the number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases recorded.

Seychelles is one of 11 countries affected by the travel ban and the others are Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Angola and Mauritius.

The United Kingdom (UK) said on Thursday it would extend a ban on travellers entering England to southern African countries in a measure to prevent the spread of a new Covid-19 variant identified in South Africa.

The restriction takes effect today and remains in place for two weeks, the government said in a statement.

“Entry into England will be banned to those who have travelled from or through any southern African country in the last 10 days, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius,” United Kingdom’s department for transport said.

In addition, it said, “Israel (and Jerusalem) would be removed from the list of travel corridors for England and people arriving from January 9 from Botswana, Israel (and Jerusalem), Mauritius or Seychelles would need to self-isolate.”

UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that “as from next week inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in, to help protect against the new strains of coronavirus such as those seen in Denmark and South Africa.”

He added that the decisive action is in response to the changes seen in the transmission of the virus both domestically and across the globe. “Pre-departure testing will protect travel and will provide an additional layer of safety from imported cases of coronavirus on top of the mandatory 10-day self-isolation for arrivals, helping identify people who may currently be infectious and preventing them from travelling to England.

“A negative pre-departure test reduces the risk of someone travelling while infectious, acting as another safeguard to prevent imported infections. Passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s travel corridor list must self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their pre-departure test result to provide further robust protection from those travelling from high-risk countries.

“Prior to departure passengers will need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test result to carriers, as well as their passenger locator form. The UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrival into England to ensure that passengers are fully compliant.

“The move further bolsters existing protective measures which helped to safely enable international travel last year, with self-isolation for new arrivals and travel corridors remaining critical in reducing the risk of imported cases from high-risk countries.”

Mauritius, Seychelles and Botswana were previously among very few locations on the UK travel corridor list, meaning that quarantine was not necessary.

Although it has not sent out a press release, the department of foreign affairs has confirmed the news about this new development.


Compiled by Gerard Govinden

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