Tourism Industry Will Closely Monitor Seychelles Quarantine Decision

The Seychelles News Agency has reported that travellers who have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine will now not be required to quarantine on arrival.

Travellers will also need to have a negative Covid PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.

The Seychelles will require that visitors must have received both doses of recognised vaccines, currently Astra/Zeneca, Janssen, Moderna and Pfizer, at least two weeks prior to departure.

Visitors will need to have an “authentic certificate from their national health authority” to prove that they have received the vaccine.

Travellers without a vaccination and negative PCR test will still have to undergo a 10 day quarantine.

COVID-19 Vaccine. Credit Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

“We hope that this will open up the tourism industry for the locals primarily for the small hotels who are struggling on La Digue, Praslin and also on Mahe. And also provide the kick that our economy desperately needs.” 

Sylvestre Radegonde, Minister for Tourism via Seychelles News Agency

By mid-March it is hoped that travellers will only require a negative PCR test as the plan is to vaccinate 70% of the population, achieving herd immunity.

Visitors must access the Seychelles’ Travel Authorization application portal and upload proof of vaccination, negative PCR test as well as passport, flight and accommodation information prior to departure.

The World Watches

It is likely that many countries, especially those who have tourism as a major part of the GDP, will be watching the situation in the Seychelles with keen interest.

If the scheme can be seen as a success, it is likely that other countries will, tentatively, dip their toes into relaxing restrictions for vaccinated travellers.

Both Singapore and Thailand have looked at ways of encouraging more visitors with only limited success. The Indonesian island of Bali has also looked at the possibility to opening to tourists again.

Quarantine is seen by many as being a major factor in countries failing to attract tourists. Finding a safe way of removing quarantine is likely to increase tourism substantially, especially in areas with low numbers of Covid cases.

However, as we discussed in December, vaccinated travellers are unlikely to be the key to reopening borders by itself.

The primary aim of a vaccine is to stop illness, not stopping people getting the infection. Therefore a vaccine alone will not stop the spread of the virus and illness will still occur in people who have not received the vaccine.

Therefore vaccinated travellers could still transmit the virus to locals and if they have not been vaccinated could become seriously ill. Hence why a negative Covid-19 PCR test will also be required.

The combination of the vaccine and negative test will greatly reduce the risk of local transmission. It won’t however remove it all together, someone may become infected after the test was taken.

It may only take one outbreak to end the policy again.

Photo credit Derek Harris on Unsplash

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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