Seychelles has been dropped off the list of countries not allowed to enter Australia because of concerns over Omicron, a variant of COVID-19 which has not been detected in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
A media statement issued by the office of the Prime Minister of Australia on 29 November has confirmed that Seychelles has been removed from the list of restricted countries following concerns of the Omicron variant detected in some Southern African countries and which has also now been detected in Australia.
“Upon further advice from Professor Kelly, [the Chief Medical Officer of Australia] Seychelles has been removed from the list of countries of concern,” the statement specified.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde has expressed satisfaction that Seychelles has been removed from Australia’s list of concern. “Our Foreign Affairs Department intervened with our counterparts in Australia immediately after receipt of the advisory, discussion of which has led to the positive outcome.”
We have very strong health measures in place with all arriving passengers required to provide proof of a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours or less prior to departure from their country. Passengers may only stay in establishments who have developed safety protocols for their operational staff and guests and certified-COVID safe by the Ministry of Health, and everyone must wear masks in public places, ensure social distancing and avoid congregating in groups. We have taken all the steps to ensure the safety of our visitors and our own population, and visitors to Seychelles can make the most of their holidays and our destination in all serenity,” Minister Radegonde said.
Meanwhile, following a meeting on Sunday, 28 November of Seychelles’ highest committee on the national COVID response chaired by the President of the Republic Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan, State House announced on Monday, 29 November that the Omicron variant detected in South Africa and several other countries has not been detected in the Indian Ocean Islands.
The Ministry of Health has for its part prohibited entry to Seychelles as of Saturday 28th November until further notice to visitors from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibian and Zimbabwe. The new measures require all persons already in Seychelles who have been to these countries in the last two weeks to go for a PCR test if they have been in Seychelles from five (5) up to fourteen (14) days after arrival. Those who have been in Seychelles for less than five (5) days must wait for Day 5 to go for the PCR test.
All Seychellois and residents returning to Seychelles who have been to any of these countries in the last two weeks are required to self-quarantine and take a compulsory PCR test on Day 5 after arrival. The national airline Air Seychelles cancelled all flights from Johannesburg to Seychelles with the exception of those of 1 December, 17 December and 19 December.
Seychelles has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and is currently administering a third booster Pfizer-BioNTech dose to its adult population as well as vaccinating adolescents. It reopened its borders to tourism on 25 March 2021, resulting a strong rebound of the country’s tourism industry, in turn driving the recovery of its economy.
MEDIA CONTACT: Tourism Seychelles, firstname.lastname@example.org