September 21, 2021

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The Great Escape: Two more island destinations open up to SA

3 min read

South Africans have had a long love affair with the islands located in the Indian Ocean. Just in time for the December holidays, Mauritius and the Seychelles have changed their entry requirements for South African visitors.

Besides the Maldives and Zanzibar – which have been open to South Africans since last year – Mauritius and the Seychelles, which have not allowed South African visitors through their borders for an extended period of time, are once again permitting entry to South Africans.

Mauritius and the Seychelles join Germany, France, Austria, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and a number of destinations that are now open to South African nationals once more.

MAURITIUS REOPENS TO SA

Mauritius which has spent most of the pandemic shut off from the rest of the world, dropped its ban on South Africans on Friday 10 September. However, commercial flights will only resume between South Africa and Mauritius from 1 October, which signals the second phase of Mauritius’ reopening.

“We welcome the decision by the Mauritian government. South Africa remains a proximity and priority market for tourism on the island,” director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) Arvind Bundhun told Business Insider.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Fully vaccinated South African travellers – with two doses of the Pfizer vaccine or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson – will have to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.

Unvaccinated travellers will still be allowed to enter Mauritius, with a negative PCR test, but will be confined to a 14-day hotel quarantine.  All visitors will must complete a health self-declaration form and passenger locator form.

SEYCHELLES REOPENS TO SA

The Seychelles Ministry of Health has issued updated conditions for entry to the island archipelago.  Effective from Monday 13 September, South Africans are now permitted entry, without quarantine or vaccination requirements.

Updated entry conditions for international travellers state that entry and stay conditions are not affected by COVID-19 vaccination status. However, visitors to the Seychelles are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated before travelling there.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

All visitors entering the Seychelles should have a negative PCR test taken maximum 72hrs before departure.  All visitors must have valid travel health insurance to cover potential COVID-19 related costs (isolation, quarantine, and treatment).

Children up to 17 years of age must comply with the same conditions as the adults they are travelling with.  All visitors are required to complete a Health Travel Authorisation which is available at https://seychelles.govtas.com/.

No visa is required for entry to the Seychelles, all visitors must, however, apply for entry through the Health Travel Authorisation platform. This authorisation is essential for travel and will be required at check-in. Visitors will not be allowed to board a flight otherwise.

Visitors who have been in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal and/or Pakistan – which remain on the Restricted List – in the preceding 14 days will, however, not be permitted entry into Seychelles.

“With over 71% of our population fully vaccinated and the vaccination of adolescents 12-18 years well underway, Seychelles is doing what is necessary to keep both its population and its visitors safe,” Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, said, as quoted in TravelNews.