The Seychelles Islands remains one of the world’s safest destinations to travel to right now, as travel slowly starts to get underway in Europe.
Seychelles is among several small nations least affected by the pandemic and is now ready to start welcoming guests back as from August 1.
Three major airlines – Emirates, Etihad and Ethiopian – have scheduled flights to Seychelles starting August and more airlines will add the islands to their networks in September and October.
According to latest figures released by the island’s Public Health Authority on Thursday afternoon, there are only 39 active cases in the country presently. No COVID-related deaths have been recorded to date.
The country managed to handle the virus with much grit from the onset, registering only 11 cases by end of May. Though tourism was down, the country’s second economic pillar, fisheries was still in operation and a number of seafarers from Western Africa tested positive upon arrival in Seychelles for crew change last month.
All the new ‘imported’ cases were isolated on their fleet and there has been no community transmission to date. Six Seychellois workers who had contact with the fishing crew and tested positive have since recovered. All the current active cases (39) remain quarantined on their boats, with no contact with the mainland.
Seychelles thus currently makes one of the best and safest destinations in the world to visit this summer, with strong measures in place to curb any potential spread of the virus amongst its guests.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mrs. Sherin Francis, has sent a strong message to the world, telling travelers that “Seychelles has fared very well with the number of cases we had and the country was quick to react with bold and necessary measures.
We are now ready to start welcoming back our visitors and we look forward to hosting them in a safe and very flexible environment.”
Mrs. Francis added that the destination has implemented specific protocols and guidelines concerning travelling to the country and hygiene in places like the airports and hotels. She also urged visitors to maintain best practices during their travels and stay in Seychelles.
“After months of quarantine and as the summer gets underway in most of our prominent markets, people are desperate to experience the world again. Seychelles is relatively low risk and we will offer the same sense of adventure, though in a slightly adapted environment,” she said.
Minister Didier Dogley, the Islands’ Minister for tourism reassured the visitors that their safety comes first, “A lot of work has been done to ensure visitors’ stay in the destination is a safe one and we want them to enjoy their holidays as they would normally do. In the unfortunate circumstances that they do get sick, the country is equipped to give them the necessary care they would require.”
Tourists coming from an approved list of Low and Moderate risk countries will be allowed to enter the Seychelles. A negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 72 hours before boarding the plane is the foremost requirement for travel to the Indian Ocean islands.
Though visitors will have to minimize their interactions with the local community, they will be able to carry on with their holiday activities such as sightseeing and tours, island hopping and excursions.
Some 96 hotels on different islands have already been accredited and received the stamp to start welcoming guests, as they meet the required health and safety checks. These lodgings range from self-caterings to five-stars and island resorts. Other service providers have also been certified for operations.