The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, announced, yesterday, in a televised message to the Nation on the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, that the reopening of the Mauritian borders will be carried out in three phases. He also spoke about the setting up of a Court of Investigation following the grounding of the Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio at Pointe d'Esny, and the People's March which was held on Saturday 29 August 2020 in the streets of the capital city, Port Louis.
Speaking about the first phase with regards to the reopening of the country's borders, Mr Jugnauth highlighted that it will comprise repatriation flights, for Mauritians stranded abroad, which will be ongoing until 30 September 2020. Mauritians returning to the country will be placed in quarantine centres, as it has been the common practice since the first case of Covid-19 was detected in Mauritius, he pointed out.
As for the second phase, Mr Jugnauth underscored that it will start from 01 October 2020, during which travel to and from certain destinations will be allowed. Those interested will be able to book their plane tickets and make their hotel reservations online, he added. Priority will be given to Mauritian nationals, those holding a residence permit, those employed in Mauritius and other visitors wishing to travel to Mauritius, he also said.
Finally, the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic in Mauritius and around the world, will dictate the implementation of the third phase, the Prime Minister indicated.
Speaking about the grounding of MV Wakashio, Mr Jugnauth reaffirmed Government's commitment in shedding light on the circumstances that led to the grounding of the vessel. As such, he announced, that former judge Mr Abdurafeek Hamuth, will chair a Court of Investigation which will be set up to look into the matter.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister commended Mauritian citizens who participated in the People's March last Saturday which was held without any incident in Port Louis. The March, he observed, is proof that freedom of expression is alive in Mauritius and that the country is a model of democracy.