Air Mauritius returns to SA in October – when the island reopens to fully vaccinated visitors
- Air Mauritius will resume its flights between the island nation and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on 1 October.
- This coincides with the final phase of Mauritius’ reopening, which will allow vaccinated tourists to explore the island.
- Vaccinated travellers are currently confined to select hotels and resorts.
- But South Africans, even if they’re fully vaccinated against Covid-19, are still banned from visiting Mauritius until at least 31 August.
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Air Mauritius will resume weekly flights to South Africa on 1 October, coinciding with the island’s full reopening to vaccinated tourists.
After being shut off from most of the world since the beginning of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Mauritius’ phased reopening to international travellers started on 15 July. This first phase, which is in effect until 30 September, allows both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists to visit the island nation under strict conditions.
Vaccinated travellers can stay at one of the 25 hotels and resorts which have been approved as “Covid-19 safe” by the Mauritian authorities. These tourists can enjoy the resort’s facilities and access private beaches but are not allowed to explore the rest of the island if their stay is shorter than 14-days.
Unvaccinated tourists need to quarantine in their hotel rooms – with meals delivered to their rooms – for two weeks.
Travellers from South Africa – one of the few countries still subject to Mauritius’ travel ban – have been prohibited from accessing the island, even if they’ve been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
This ban on South African travellers is in place until at least 31 August.
Air Mauritius’ latest schedule confirms that flights between the island and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport are set to resume on 1 October. Flights between Mauritius and South Africa will operate on Fridays.
This return date coincides with the second and final phase of Mauritius’ reopening.
Fully vaccinated tourists will no longer be confined to just one hotel or resort and will have free reign to explore the entire island. These travellers will still need to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure to the island nation.
Vaccines currently recognised by the Mauritian authorities include AstraZeneca – Covishield and Vaxzevria – Covaxin, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac-Coronavac, Sinopharm, and Sputnik V.
Travellers are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after they’ve received their second dose of the two-dose vaccine and 28 days after a single-dose, like the Johnson & Johnson one. Visitors under the age of 18 are exempt from the vaccination requirements and, if providing a negative Covid-19 test result, will be afforded the same access as fully vaccinated travellers.
And while the island reopens to fully vaccinated travellers, nothing changes for unvaccinated visitors. Those who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will still be required to quarantine in their hotel rooms for at least two weeks.
Only once a negative test result is returned on day 14 of the quarantine will unvaccinated guests be allowed to freely explore the rest of the island.
(Compiled by Luke Daniel)
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