South Africa travel seychelles
Seychelles (Getty Images)
  • South Africans can now travel freely to the Seychelles, following the reversal of an Omicron-induced ban imposed at the end of November.
  • South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe were removed from the Seychelles’ list of restricted countries on Thursday.
  • Visitors will need to present a negative PCR test, complete a Health Travel Authorisation form, and take out Covid-19 travel insurance before boarding a plane to the island nation.
  • And while vaccination isn’t mandatory and won’t impact entry or stay conditions, it’s “strongly encouraged”.
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The Seychelles reopened to South African visitors on Thursday after suspending travel in late November following the discovery of the Omicron variant.

The popular island getaway of Seychelles has updated its entry and stay conditions for travellers which came into effect on Thursday. The latest amendments remove South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe from its list of restricted countries.

The island nation off the coast of East Africa had initially suspended travel from these countries on 27 November, just two days after South Africa’s Network for Genomic Surveillance announced the discovery of a new coronavirus variant, Omicron.

The Seychelles wasn’t alone in imposing travel restrictions and, within a week of the Omicron discovery, around 70 countries had banned travel from South Africa and its neighbouring countries.

Updated entry and stay conditions published by the Seychelles’ ministry of health effectively open the island nation up to all foreign visitors, with certain pre-travel and post-arrival conditions.

Every traveller over the age of 2 is required to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test result obtained within 72-hours of the departure to the Seychelles. This negative test result, and other health documents, will be required to complete a Health Travel Authorisation form.

This Health Travel Authorisation process is mandatory for all visitors travelling to the Seychelles and includes the passenger’s passport details, contact information, and travel itinerary.

Valid travel and health insurance to cover coronavirus-related quarantine and treatment is also mandatory.

“Entry/stay conditions will not be affected by Covid-19 vaccination status, but visitors are strongly encouraged to be fully immunised before travel,” notes the latest travel advisory issued by the Seychelles ministry of health.

The Seychelles’ Health Travel Authorisation adds that a “certificate of vaccination is an advantage” for travellers.

Visitors are also encouraged to stay in certified tourist establishments. Those who choose not to, will be required to undergo a PCR test on the fifth day of their stay.

Travellers who have come into close contact with somebody who has tested positive for Covid-19 may be required to self-isolate. The only time a traveller will be forced to quarantine, according to the ministry of health, is if they themselves test positive.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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