Started early, took my dog. The beautiful beaches of the Seychelles will be open to international visitors from August 1 (photo courtesy Shutterstock).
Emirates, Etihad and Ethiopian will start flying to the Seychelles from August, which coincides with the country’s plans to reopen to international tourists on August 1.
More airlines are set to add the Seychelles to their schedules in September and October.
According to latest figures released by the Seychelles' Public Health Authority, there are just 39 active coronavirus cases in the country at the moment. The Seychelles has recorded no COVID-19 related deaths.
By May, the Seychelles had recorded just 11 infections. While the tourism industry came to a halt, the country's second economic pillar, fishing, continued. The recent cases recorded since the end of May were imported into the country by fishermen from Western Africa. The imported infections were isolated on their boats and there was no community transmission.
"Seychelles has fared very well with the number of cases we had and the country was quick to react with bold and necessary measures," said Sherin Francis, chief executive officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board. "We are now ready to start welcoming back our visitors and we look forward to hosting them in a safe and very flexible environment."
Seychelles International Airport will reopen to commercial flights and international visitors from August 1 but with entry protocols in place. These will require travellers to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken prior to boarding the flight. Passengers boarding from medium risk countries will require a PCR test taken within 72 hours or travel, while low risk countries must have proof of an antigen test within 72 hours of travel. At the time of writing, Singapore was listed as a medium risk country and Hong Kong (which is included as 'China') was listed as a low risk country.
Medical screening, including temperature scanning, will take place on arrival and travellers must complete a health check form. Visitors must also hold travel insurance with medical coverage and proof of accommodation in an establishment that has been approved by the Public Health Authority.
More than 90 hotels on different islands have been accredited to start welcoming guests, while other service providers have also been certified for operations.
Emirates has confirmed that it will be flying five times a week to the Seychelles from its hub airport in Dubai.