Seychelles, the popular holiday destination in the Indian Ocean that opened its borders for international travelers on August 1, updates its COVID-19 entry requirements. Travelers from all countries are welcomed but with limitations.
The Seychelles Department of Tourism reviews its Visitor’s Travel Advisory effective Friday, October 2, 2020.
The review follows a proposal of the Tourism Taskforce to provide potential visitors with clearer information regarding the list of countries for which visitors are permitted into Seychelles.
As per the new advisory, all countries allowed to enter Seychelles will be considered permitted countries and have been divided into 2 categories.
Category 1 includes permitted countries from low and medium risk.
Category 2 will only consist of countries from the list of seven countries given special status, in the instance that any of these countries progress to high risk.
Category 2 of permitted countries
- Travelers from these countries will be subject to a set of different measures amongst which are COVID PCR test prior to travel should be no more than 48 hours,
- stay within hotels designated for Category 2 countries,
- restricted movement for the first 5 days of the stay in Seychelles.
- requested to adhere to all stated procedures in the Visitor’s Travel Advisory,
- ensure that all requirements are met before arrival, failing which, may result in restriction of entry.
Visitors coming from category 1 countries
They will be deemed as low or medium risks- appearing on the permitted list will not be subject to special conditions imposed for category 2 countries.
Ensuring the safety of visitors and the local population, the Department of Tourism has published a detailed visitor’s travel advisory addressing the conditions for holidaymakers visiting the destination from both categories of countries.
A list of authorized accommodations for category 2 permitted countries that are subjected to regular updates by the Tourism Department has also been published for visitors’ information.
To date, 74 tourism establishments have been accredited on that list and work continues in endorsing other tourism establishments, which have expressed interest.
LIST OF PERMITTED COUNTRIES – Category 1 (as of Oct. 1, 2020)
Australia, Austria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Cambodia, Mauritius, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and Vietnam.
LIST OF PERMITTED COUNTRIES – Category 2 (as of Oct. 1, 2020)
United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and the United Arab Emirates
In the second week of November, Seychelles announced a new PCR test requirement from all travelers. All visitors coming into Seychelles will take a PCR test after the fifth night.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY FOR CATEGORY 1 LIST PERMITTED COUNTRIES
PRE – TRAVEL PROCEDURES
Visitors, including infants and children, must have a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate from an accredited laboratory. The test must be taken maximum of 72 hours before departure.
- Visitors must submit their application for approval through the designated platform. This can only be done after they have received their PCR test results.
- Upon check in, all travellers coming to Seychelles must show their approved test results to their respective airline companies for verification.
- Visitors must comply with all airline protocols throughout their journey.
- Visitors transiting through countries not on the permitted list of countries in category 1 will be allowed entry into Seychelles only if they do not exit the airport during transit.
- Visitors from countries who are not on the permitted list of countries who have stayed for at least 14 days or more in a country from the category 1 list of permitted countries and have a negative PCR test within 72 hours before departure will also be authorised entry in Seychelles. However they must provide proof of their stay in the category 1 permitted country.
- Visitors must ensure that accommodation bookings are made only at licensed establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Public Health Authority. Book on Booking.com
- Booking vouchers reflecting the entire duration of stay in Seychelles must be presented at the Immigration counter for verification. Visitors without such a booking will be directed to another establishment that is certified.
- Visitors must ensure that they have valid travel insurance with full medical coverage, including Covid19 related medical care, for the duration of their stay in Seychelles.
Entry by sea
- Visitors may apply for entry by sea application form is available on the Department of Health website and should be submitted to: [email protected].
- Approval is conditional on risks at ports visited in the past 30 days prior to application, and the vessel spending at least 21 days at sea from the last port of call before entry into Seychelles.
- Disembarkation of any crew or passenger will be authorized after review of daily temperature and health checks recorded over the last 14 days prior to arrival. The records should be submitted to Port Health office ([email protected]) or ([email protected])
1. The authorities at Seychelles International Airport have established measures for safe movement at the airport as follows:-
- Disembarkation should be done in an orderly manner based on inflight seating arrangements.
- Face masks should be kept on until exit from the terminal.
- A distance of at least one metre should be maintained between all persons at all times.
- Hand sanitisers are available throughout the terminal.
- When collecting luggages, visitors must ensure that a distance of at least one metre from other persons is maintained. The area around the conveyor belt has been demarcated to guide visitors.
- Visitors may make use of trolleys that have been disinfected and located at clearly demarcated areas.
2. All visitors will undergo temperature checks and health screening
Any visitor who disembarks with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose or shortness of breath will be isolated from other travellers and be subjected to further assessment.
Additionally, visitors may be required to undertake a COVID-19 test upon disembarkation.
Some visitors may be selected, on the basis of the health checks and review of documents, for additional testing on entry.
Visitors must use authorised and certified transportation. All visitors must observe rules for physical distancing, avoiding close physical contact such as handshakes, and wear a facemask throughout the journey to the establishments.
Transfer of visitors from the airport to the place of accommodation will be done by authorized transport and visitors must at all times follow instructions provided by the operators.
- Visitors will not be authorised to use public buses.
- Physical distancing must be maintained at all times.
- Visitors with connecting domestic flights to other islands should remain on the airport premises until departure of their flight. In the case where the connecting flight is on the following day, accommodation must be booked for the overnight stay in an authorized establishment.
STAY AT ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS OR LIVEABOARDS
Visitors may only stay in establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Public Health Authority. Upon arrival in Seychelles, visitors must stay in not more than two accommodations/liveaboards for the first 7 days.
- Visitors are not permitted to stay at private residences.
- To ensure the safety of staff and visitors, all persons at tourism establishments are monitored daily for signs of illness by the Health and Safety Officer or designated person.
- All tourism establishments have set up measures to increase vigilance, enhance hygiene and social and physical distancing. Visitors are required to adhere to all guidelines and should keep interaction with other visitors not in their travel group to a minimum.
- Visitor wishing to take part in recreational activities such as tours, excursions, sightseeing etc. are required to use licensed tourism service providers that have been certified by the Public Health Authority.
- Visitors are required to wear face masks in public areas.
PCR TESTING IN SEYCHELLES FOR DEPARTING VISITORS
PCR testing is not required to depart Seychelles. However, your airline or final destination may require it. PCR test facilities are available on the 3 main islands namely Mahe, Praslin and La Digue to visitors prior to departure.
Visitors requiring the test should contact the Public Health Authority well in advance on the email address [email protected] or telephone +248 4388410 to make the necessary arrangements.
The PCR test currently costs SCR2,500.00. Children below the age of 12 years and persons of 65 years and above are exempted from the fee. All PCR tests administered in Seychelles are accredited by the Ministry of Health.
Visitors who develop symptoms of a possible respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath) will be referred to the health services for prompt attention. In the event that a visitor is found to be infected with COVID-19, the Public Health Authority requires that the person is isolated from the population and other visitors until recovery from the infection. Seychelles has extensive and modern health care services and visitors can expect quality care in the event of illness.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY FOR CATEGORY 2 LIST OF PERMITTED COUNTRIES
Additional health safety measures that will permit visitors from the category 2 permitted countries to travel and stay in Seychelles are described in the sections below. In summary these measures are:
- A PCR test for COVID-19 must be done not more than 48 hours prior to departure from the country of origin
- After arrival into Seychelles, the visitor must stay in a designated establishment and may not leave the premises for 5 days.
- A repeat PCR test will be performed on the 5th day. If the test result is negative, the visitors will be free to continue with their planned holiday and follow terms and conditions outlined as per the Category 1 permitted countries
- If the test result is positive, they will be required to stay in a designated hotel until cleared by the Public Health Authority.
- A negative PCR test certificate from an accredited or Government certified laboratory within 48 hours prior to departure to Seychelles must be submitted.
- All visitors from the Category 2 Permitted Countries must ensure that their accommodation is authorised to receive visitors.
- Visitors must have a valid travel insurance with full medical coverage, including COVID-19 related medical care, for the duration of their entire stay in Seychelles.
- Health Travel Authorization is also required. Visitors must submit their application for approval through the designated platform. This can only be done after they have received their PCR test results.
Ports of Transit and Entry
- Visitors must adhere to strict public health measures (hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing, wearing of facemasks during travel and transit).
- Visitors must have correct documents (Public Health Authority permits, printed PCR test results) for verification at ports of entry and transit.
- Visitors will go through the health desk manned by public health officials, for temperature screening, checks on symptoms, and review of test certificates and travel documents, if necessary.
- Some visitors may be selected, on the basis of the health checks and review of documents, for additional testing on entry.
- Visitors will also be registered and provided with details of follow up by health department officials.
- Visitors will be informed by the health officer of the health safety measures they have to follow and will be briefed on all terms and conditions to stay at their accommodation.
- Physical distancing must be maintained at all times.
- Visitors with connecting domestic flights to other islands should remain on the airport premises until the departure of their flight. In the case where the connecting flight is on the following day, accommodation must be booked for the overnight stay in an authorized establishment.
- Visitors must use authorised and certified transportation. All visitors must observe rules for physical distancing, avoiding close physical contact such as handshakes, and wear a facemask throughout the journey to the establishments.
Registration at the establishment will include signing an agreement to the terms and conditions of stay.
Day 1 to Day 5
- All visitors must remain on the premises of their authorised accommodation at all times.
- Visitors must adhere to all Public health guidance (hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, maintaining 1 metre distance or more and make consistent use of facemasks in enclosed settings). Daily temperature and health checks of visitors will be recorded.
- Visitors will undergo a PCR test on the 5th day after arrival at the authorised accommodation. This PCR test will be at no cost to the visitor.
Day 5 onwards
- If the PCR test is negative, visitors will be free to continue with their planned holiday. If the PCR test done is positive, the visitor will immediately be isolated.
- If visitors are tested positive and asymptomatic (not showing any sign of respiratory infection i.e. Fever, cough. shortness of breath etc.) they will be either isolated in their rooms or transferred to the designated hotels.
- If visitors are tested positive but symptomatic (visitor is showing signs of respiratory infection i.e. fever, cough, shortness of breath etc.) the Public Health Authority requires that the person is isolated in a medical facility until recovery from the infection. Seychelles has extensive and modern health care services and visitors can expect quality care.
- Once visitors are allowed free movement, they must adhere to all Public Health measures and guidance being given to visitors (including wearing of face masks in public places) and only use certified transport and service providers. Visitors are not permitted to use public buses. They must follow all procedures put in place for the use of ferries and domestic flights.
PCR TESTING IN SEYCHELLES FOR DEPARTING VISITORS
The Seychelles authorities do not require PCR testing for anyone departing Seychelles. However, airlines or final destinations may require it. PCR test facilities are available on the 3 main islands namely Mahe, Praslin and La Digue and some island resorts, to visitors prior to departure. Visitors requiring the test should contact the Public Health Authority well in advance on the email address [email protected] or telephone +248 4388410 to make the necessary arrangements. The PCR test currently costs SCR2, 500.00. Children below the age of 12 years and persons of 65 years and above are exempted from the fee. All PCR tests administered in Seychelles are certified by the Department of Health.
It is important to note that these procedures are subject to change, and visitors are invited to check for the latest requirements on the Tourism and Health websites.