The Seychelles has waived its mandatory quarantine for visitors who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, which must have taken place at least two weeks prior and be accompanied by an authentication certificate that has been issued by a national healthy authority.
However, visitors will still need to take a PCR test within 72 hours of traveling to the country and provide proof of a negative result.
This 115-island country located 930 miles east of Africa’s mainland is the continent’s smallest with 100,000 people, and its economy depends heavily on the tourism industry; 65% of its gross domestic product comes from it.
Officials are hoping that the loosening of their quarantine policy will help bring more tourism money in while concurrently keeping their citizens safe.
The drop in tourism, which went from 400,000 visitors in 2019 to a fraction of that a year later, has caused the nation’s rupee to fall by 30% versus the United States dollar and its residents to struggle with the resulting increased cost of living.
Prior to this change, visitors from countries listed in the Seychelle’s Categories 1 or 2 had to participate in a 10-day quarantine while those from countries not on either list could not visit at all unless they arrived via a private jet and stayed on specified yachts or at certified resorts.
However, these restrictions have not changed for those who have not been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the Seychelles is looking to vaccinate 75% of its own population by March, according to President Wavel Ramkalawan.
The Seychelles has received 50,000 dosage donations from the United Arab Emirates and is expected to receive 100,000 additional ones from India in February. Once that goal is achieved, it plans to simply require all visitors to present a recent negative PCR test result.
As of Sunday, the Seychelles has had 696 detected COVID-19 cases with 169 of those being active. Two have died there as a result of contracting the virus. The daily percentage increase has been particularly high over the past couple of weeks, however, its highest jump of 13% coming on Jan. 9.