Visitors from South Africa are again allowed to enter Seychelles, as of September 13, after the Ministry of Health removed the country from its restricted list.
Following a Sunday update made to the Health Entry and Stay Conditions for Travellers, entry and stay conditions will not be affected by the COVID-19 vaccination status of visitors. Visitors however are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated prior to traveling to the island nation in the western Indian Ocean.
Passengers from South Africa will not have to undergo quarantine upon arrival in Seychelles although proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test done within 72h of departure needs to be provided. A 'Health Travel Authorisation' - to be carried out online at https://seychelles.govtas.com/ - also needs to be completed.
Valid travel and health insurance which covers COVID-19 related quarantine, isolation or treatment must also be provided.
During their stay in Seychelles, as is the case for other visitors, those from South Africa will have to reside in a certified tourism establishment with no minimum length of stay in the first establishment.
Seychelles imposed the ban on visitors from South Africa early this year to address the threat of a new South African COVID variant.
The Tourism Seychelles regional director for Africa & the Americas, David Germain, said that the arrival of the South African travellers back to Seychelles' shores is long overdue.
"Travellers want to stay safe in a pure environment whilst on holiday and what better place than Seychelles at this time of uncertainty. Tourism operators and their staff have all been trained to minimise and mitigate the risk posed by COVID-19, developing standard operating protocols in collaboration with the health authorities, earning COVID-safe certification," said Germain.
He added that "in South Africa itself, mass vaccination of the South African public has already begun and is taking place nationwide in the country, and this is instilling confidence in travel."
The tourism minister, Sylvestre Radegonde, who also welcomed the news, said that the reopening of the Seychelles' borders to this market presents great opportunities, primarily for the fly-fishing niche.
He added that "with over 70 percent of our population fully vaccinated and the vaccination of adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years well underway, Seychelles is doing what is necessary to keep both its population and its visitors safe."
At the moment visitors from Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal and Pakistan remain on the restricted list for entry into Seychelles. Visitors from those countries can only travel to Seychelles if they have done 14 days in another country.
The tourism department said in a press release that "the Tourism Seychelles Office in South Africa is ready with marketing activities programmed to take place in South Africa and the other African countries over the next few months."
This will be a series of trade and consumer activities which will include a Seychelles Africa Virtual Roadshow' being the main activity. The roadshow will provide products and services as well as important travel advisory updates to the African travel trade community for travel to Seychelles.
A series of 'Seychelles Virtual Destination training', press trips and travel trade familiarisation visits to Seychelles are scheduled for November as well as consumer advertising campaigns and joint-collaboration marketing efforts with the South African travel trade.