Safe Tourism: Seychelles Steps up Health Measures
Responding to global second wave of COVID-19
Responding to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and the second wave in certain regions around the world, destination Seychelles is re-enforcing measures to curb probabilities of local infection on its shores.
The review has been done by the tourism task force, a committee regrouping tourism stakeholders, health decision-makers and various other local agencies to oversee all issues relating to the re-opening of the destination during this period dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current review of the measures is based on epidemiological factors and considerations.
The first change to the measures relates to the COVID-19 PCR test to be done while in the country. The timing of the test has been reviewed by the Public Health Authority (PHA) and specifies that all visitors coming into Seychelles, will take a PCR test after the fifth night. This means the testing will be conducted on the sixth day after the arrival of the visitor.
Before that, only visitors from the Category 2 countries were required to take a PCR test whilst in the country. Now, these new measures apply to all visitors.
Visitors and hotel partners are also being advised that unless informed of the contrary after 24 hours of the sample being taken, the visitor should consider the result as negative. Visitors from Category 2 countries may then follow Category 1 requirements, which include changing hotels and able to proceed with their planned holidays whilst observing strict health protocols throughout.
The task force has considered the increasing interest of young couples to walk down the aisle in the paradisiacal islands and has since applied stricter measures for establishments hosting weddings and for other wedding service providers including Civil Status personnel officiating, beauty and hairdressing service suppliers.
Relating to the sixth-day testing and protocols to be adopted in case of an asymptomatic case detected, the PHA has advised that if the client is staying in a Category 2 establishment, he or she could be allowed to remain in isolation within the establishment.
It is imperative that the person does not have contact with other visitors staying at the same property as well as have limited and controlled contact with hotel personnel while being monitored daily.
In actual practice, when or if a visitor is found to be a positive case of COVID-19, the health team will be on-site to guide the management on measures to be applied. It may also be the case that a particular establishment is not suitable to keep an infected person and he or she would need to be moved to another designated and certified hotel.
The general measures for a Category 2 establishment will automatically apply for a positive case and the specific measures must be determined on the actual establishment and the conditions present at the time. Before the PCR test is taken on the sixth day, every visitor is treated with caution, through intensive safety procedures.
Seychelles has been welcoming visitors since June from private flights and charters but reopened its borders to commercial fights on August 1, 2020.