Stakeholders learn more about additional health security measures for special status visitors |05 October 2020
As Seychelles slowly gets back on its feet amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism industry is particularly striving to bring back visitors and enhance the industry.
As of October 1, 2020, visitors from France, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom, which are now being categorized as ‘Category 2’ countries, are allowed to enter the country subject to additional health security measures. These are as follows:
1. A PCR test for Covid-19 must be done not more than 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin
2. After arrival into Seychelles, the visitor must stay in a designated establishment and may not leave the premises for 5 days.
3. A repeat PCR test will be performed on the 5th day. If the test result is negative, the visitor will be free to continue with his/her planned holiday. If the test result is positive, the visitor will be required to stay in a designated stay-safe hotel until cleared by the Public Health Authority.
(In the case of Praslin and La Digue the visitor will remain in the designated establishment as a stay-safe hotel is yet to be identified.)
A total of 30 accommodation establishments on Praslin and La Digue had the opportunity to broaden their knowledge about these protocols in a meeting organised by the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA) alongside the tourism department and the Public Health Authority on Friday.
The meeting held at Les Lauriers Eco Hotel was attended by the principal secretary for tourism, Anne Lafortune, the chairperson of the Public Health Authority Dr Conrad Shamlaye, the director for Public Health Services Rodney Philoe and the chairperson of SHTA, Sybille Cardon.
According to PS Lafortune, so far a total of 40 establishments have already received certification to welcome visitors from the ‘Category 2’ countries nationally and several more are in the process of applying for certification. However, not all establishments can meet the required criteria and unfortunately some applications have been rejected.
The Public Health Authority has vowed its support to the tourism establishments in ensuring that the collaborative effort to keep Seychelles safe of Covid-19 transmission is well shared.
“These protocols may reduce the number of people that travel but it is necessary to keep our country safe. So we count on all establishments to make our visitors feel confident that they are safe when on holiday and establish flexible discussions with health coordinators,” Dr Shamlaye shared.
The participants had the opportunity to learn more about how to manage visitors from these special status countries while ensuring that they have an enjoyable holiday in the Seychelles. Queries were mainly about the security of other hotel guests and best practices of how to ensure that visitors adhere to all necessary measures, as well as the time span for results of PCR tests due to the fact that samples for the tests have to be transported to Mahé. They could clear their doubts and seek advice accordingly.
Text: Nadia Bedier
Photo: Romano Laurence