South Africans can now holiday in the Seychelles – even if they’re not vaccinated

Business Insider SA

Seychelles travel
Victoria, Seychelles (Getty Images)
  • The Seychelles removed South Africa from its list of “restricted countries” on Monday.
  • Travellers from South Africa, whether vaccinated against Covid-19 or not, are now allowed to visit the island nation.
  • All that’s required is a negative PCR test, valid insurance, and a completed Health Travel Authorisation form.
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South African travellers, whether vaccinated or not, can now visit the Seychelles without needing to quarantine. All that’s needed is a negative Covid-19 PCR test result and a completed Health Travel Authorisation form.

The Seychelles is the latest country to reopen to South African visitors. The move comes just days after another popular island destination, Mauritius, confirmed that travellers from South Africa would be welcomed back from 1 October.

Like most island nations off the coast of Africa, tourism remains the lifeblood of the Seychelles’ economy. It’s against this backdrop that the Seychelles began reopening to international tourists in March.

But South Africa has remained on the Seychelles’ list of “restricted countries”. The Seychelles’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, attributed the decision to uphold the ban on South African travellers to entice tourists from the United Kingdom (UK).

Almost five months later and the Seychelles, like South Africa, is still on the UK’s red list of restricted travel, despite having vaccinated more than 70% of the population; one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

In its latest version of Health Entry and Stay Conditions for Travellers published on Monday morning, the Seychelles announced that South Africa had been removed from its list of restricted countries with immediate effect.

The only countries still listed as restricted are Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Travellers from these countries are not allowed to enter the Seychelles.

South Africans looking for an island getaway can now travel freely to the Seychelles. And in a move out of sync with other countries who have reopened to international travellers, “entry and stay conditions will not be affected by Covid-19 vaccination status.”

"... but visitors are strongly encouraged to be fully immunised before travel," said the Seychelles' Ministry of Health. 

Travellers will still need to present proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Valid health and travel insurance to cover any coronavirus-related quarantine, isolation or treatment is also a prerequisite.

Visitors also need to apply for Health Travel Authorisation, which includes passport and flight details, copies of the traveller’s accommodation bookings, Covid-19 test results, and vaccination certificate, even though the latter has no bearing on the visitor’s access to or movements within the Seychelles.

“Travellers from South Africa are permitted to enter subject to negative test results. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers will be treated the same way and quarantine is not required for travellers irrespective of their vaccination status,” the Seychelles’ Public Health Authority (PHA) told Business Insider South Africa.

The only time a traveller would be forced to quarantine is if they test positive for Covid-19 while in the Seychelles, the Seychelles Tourism Board said. Children younger than 17-years-old will be met with conditions applicable to the parent or guardian they are accompanying. 

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