Reopening of airport for commercial flights |08 July 2020
Tourism ministry releases visitor travel advisory
In preparation for the reopening of the Seychelles International Airport for commercial flights on August 1, the tourism department has worked on a Seychelles Visitor Travel Advisory.
It provides guidance to visitors from the booking stage, disembarkation, transfers, stay in accommodation and emergency procedures in the event of symptoms which could be related to COVID-19.
The Seychelles International Airport will re-open on August 1 and will only accept commercial flights from 37 countries that have been deemed low and medium risk in relation to the COVID-19 infection.
To give more details on the precautions and process that visitors will go through once they arrive in the country, the principal secretary for tourism Anne Lafortune held a press conference yesterday afternoon at the Botanical House where she also discussed the many safety measures that the tourism department in collaboration with the health department have put in place.
“Only visitors from low and medium risk countries will be able to visit Seychelles and all of them must have a travel insurance that will cover all their medical costs,” said PS Lafortune.
She continued by adding that visitors from low risk countries must undergo a PCR test before travelling to Seychelles. If they cannot obtain the PCR test the government will allow them to enter as long as they test negative for the rapid antigen test.
Visitors from medium risk countries will only be allowed into the country if they have had a PCR test.
The travellers will have to take the tests 72 hours before their departure and the results of their tests will be sent to the health department before their arrival and they will be attached to all their information. They will also have to show their negative test results to the airline in their country before boarding the plane to come to Seychelles.
Tourists will not be placed in quarantine once they arrive in Seychelles because their duration of stay will most likely be shorter than the two weeks’ quarantine.
PS Lafortune explained that 14 days will be too much for a tourist who is only visiting Seychelles for one week. She added that the health department has put in place the necessary precautions to make up for them not going into quarantine.
“Upon arrival at the international airport they will have to wear a face mask and adhere to all the safety measures that the health department has put in place at the airport. Their temperature will be checked and if anyone is showing symptoms they will be separated and further tests will be conducted on them,” PS Lafortune added.
Tourists will also have to submit a voucher to immigration to show their duration of stay, the principal secretary said, pointing out that only certified establishments and linerboard yachts will be able to accommodate visitors. Furthermore for the first seven days tourists will be permitted to live in not more than two accommodations.
Car rental companies, taxis and others will also have to be certified to carry tourists from the airport to their destination.
The Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) will not allow any tourist to board the bus as other options are being provided for them and bus drivers will have the right to stop tourists from boarding the bus.
Excursions, tours and other activities will be conducted by businesses that have been certified by the health department and have been trained. All certified establishments will be monitored by the health department and inspections will be conducted to make sure that they are practicing the necessary measures that have been set.
PS Lafortune noted that they do not expect a lot of tourists in August despite the border being open, but Seychelles must put in place all the necessary precautions and measures as people are still getting infected by the virus in other parts of the world.
She noted that there will be no restrictions on where tourists will be able to go for now but if the number of visitors increases and the COVID-19 pandemic worsens then some restrictions will be put in place as to where tourists may or may not go.