Seychelles boosts visitor’s confidence through the creation of Special Status for main source markets

In an effort to provide more confidence to tourism partners in key source market countries the authorities in Seychelles has decided to provide special status to a group of seven countries.

The initiative will come into force as of October 1, 2020, will include main source market countries namely United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the United Arab Emirates.

The decision was made by the tourism task force, a committee chaired by Minister Didier Dogley, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine mandated to oversee all issues relating to the re-opening the destination during this period dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This initiative aims to provide more confidence to visitors coming from these selected countries and to reassure them that even when their country does not feature on the permitted list of countries they will still be able to travel to Seychelles.

Under this new initiative, visitors will be allowed to travel to Seychelles however; more stringent sanitary measures will apply to ensure the safety of both visitors and the local population.

The advisory, to be published by September 18, 2020, will confirm the authorisation for visitors from distinctive countries considered prime markets for the destination to travel under special conditions if their countries of departure do not feature on the permitted list of countries to enter Seychelles.

“This is in particular when there is a spike or a rapid surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in their country of residence. Under normal circumstances whenever this happens and the number of cases goes beyond a particular threshold, visitors from these countries would not have been allowed to travel to Seychelles,” said the minister.

Minister Didier Dogley further informed that the decision was made based on the assessment of how the country has been performing since June 1, 2020, when Seychelles removed the air travel restrictions for the destination.

“Our performance as a small country handling arrival of visitors since June 1, 2020, has been a success. We have been able to open our borders to foreign visitors and reactivate our tourism industry in a meaningful manner, with some degree of confidence, while meeting our primary objective of protecting our local population from Covid-19. Providing special status to our key source market countries is of vital importance to ensure continuity during a period of much instability,” said Minister Dogley.

Other important prerequisites for travelling to Seychelles from the selected countries will include that prior to departure from their country of origin; visitors will have to submit a negative PCR test certificate from an accredited laboratory done within 48 hours from their time of departure. Furthermore, they will be expected to have valid travel insurance with full medical coverage for the duration of their stay.

Designated hotels and other forms of accommodations with the right facilities and amenities will be permitted to accommodate these visitors for the first 5 days of their visits. Throughout that period, they will have to stay on the premises of the hotel.

On the 5th day, visitors will be subjected to another Covid-19 PCR test, provided their test is negative, the visitor will be allowed to continue to enjoy their holiday as they would normally have. If the test results are positive, the visitor in question will be required to stay in a designated stay-safe hotel until cleared by the Seychelles Public Health Authority. The test will be free of charge.

The chairperson of the task force explained that for these selected markets, the only time visitors will not be allowed to enter is when the situation in that particular country is considered to be out of control and therefore the risk is too high.

Additional measures and procedures set by the PHA, which are subjected to change, can be viewed under the advisory available on the Tourism Department and Department of Health websites, which will be kept updated.