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Seychelles will now be open to visitors from across the globe, irrespective of their vaccination status, from March 25 onwards. Soon after the announcement of the air bubble arrangement between India and Seychelles, Indian travelers now have reason enough to cheer.
Air Seychelles has announced that it will also be starting twice-weekly direct flights on Thursdays and Sundays from Mumbai to Mahe from April 8 onwards. The flight will depart from Mumbai at 5:15 am (IST) and arrive in Mahe at 8:10 am (local time). From Mahe, the flight will depart at 10:10 pm (local time) and reach Mumbai at 4:15 am (IST).
The Indian Ocean island destination has, however, made it clear that visitors from South Africa will still not be permitted to enter for the time being until the situation is further reviewed.
Making the announcement of Seychelles opening itself to the world, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, in a press briefing said that all visitors would need to present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure, after which there would neither be any quarantine requirement nor restriction on movement upon entry into Seychelles.
Additionally, the minimum stay in establishments upon arrival will no longer be applicable. However, visitors will still be required to adhere to other public health measures put in place in view of the pandemic which will include wearing face masks, social distancing, regular sanitization, or washing of hands. The new measures also give visitors access to all communal areas within the hotel premises inclusive of bars, swimming pools, spas, and kid’s clubs.
Radegonde stated that the decision to review and relax the entry procedures in the country has been made possible in view of the success registered in the aggressive vaccination campaign that the country embarked on earlier in the year.
“The vaccination campaign has been quite successful. The government has done everything in its power to make sure that the population is protected. We have now arrived at the point where opening our borders further is the next step to allow for our economic recovery. The measures being announced reflect broadly the recommendation of our tourism partners and have been done in full consultation with and the endorsement of our health authorities.”
Commenting on the reopening of the destination, Lubaina Sheerazi, CEO, BRANDit, the Marketing and PR office for Seychelles Tourism Board in India, said, “As Indians are looking for more destination choices to travel internationally, Seychelles opening up to India without any restrictions comes at a great time when people are ready to emerge out of their COVID cocoons and plan trips abroad.
Being a dynamic country with a lot to offer to tourists, we are excited to motivate the trade and consumers to plan their next getaway in Seychelles”.
The small island nation off the east coast of Africa whose economy is based primarily on tourism was the first African country to launch a bold, comprehensive, and effective Covid-19 immunization campaign, in January 2021. The destination will continuously review the new entry measures to ensure that at all times the health and safety of the visitors and the local population are not compromised.