Final preparations before commercial flights resume |29 July 2020
With only three days to go before the re-opening of the Seychelles International Airport for the resumption of commercial flights, President Danny Faure was yesterday briefed by government officials and private sector representatives on the final preparations underway.
Stakeholders also reviewed what will happen in the eventuality of a tourist testing positive for COVID-19 virus while in the country.
The meeting also focused on the setting up of a designated establishment within the tourism industry to cater for the eventuality that a visitor needs to be isolated during his or her stay in Seychelles; an option which not only ensures the safety of the general public but allows the tourist(s) to continue enjoying their holiday in Seychelles within a secure and pleasant environment.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, the principal secretary for tourism, Anne Lafortune noted that if a visitor tests positive for the virus and is not showing any symptoms while in the country he or she will be placed in a hotel that will have been converted to accommodate them so that they can continue their vacation without having any contact with the general population or other tourists.
“An expression of interest will be made so that potential hotels which are interested in offering their services can apply,” said PS Lafortune.
A special committee has been established in order to choose the hotels that meet the necessary criteria.
“We are not expecting a large number of tourists but we are preparing ourselves for the worst case scenario. We need to open our borders as we are not getting enough revenue to buy medicine and other commodities,” said PS Lafortune.
“We are not putting the economy before health but our economy is in trouble,” she added.
Speaking on behalf of the Seychelles Hotel and Tourism Association (SHTA) chairperson Sybil Cardon and vice-chairperson Alan Mason said the risk of a tourist getting COVID-19 is there and in that eventuality since they have paid for their holiday they will be able to spend it in that special facility.
While at the facility a nurse will be monitoring the patients but they will not be receiving any medicine as long as they are not showing symptoms.
Principal secretary Lafortune also reminded tourism establishments and services that those which have not been certified will not be able to accommodate any visitors.