MAURITIUS EASES COVID RESTRICTIONS TO BOOST TOURISM IN 2022
Mauritius has further eased Covid-related restrictions on international visitors in a bid to help strengthen the country’s recovering tourism industry.
After lifting restrictions to most of its neighbours in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, the island most recently removed the need for a day five antigen test for vaccinated holidaymakers.
Since January, Mauritius has accelerated the reopening of the country to international travellers. January saw the removal of the Covid-19 travel ban imposed by the Republic of Mauritius on the Republic of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. Commercial passenger flights from these countries to Mauritius have resumed while non-essential travellers can enter the country again. In 2019, South African tourists alone generated 209,000 arrivals in Mauritius.
A further boost for Mauritius tourism has been the decision by French Island La Reunion to allow people to travel to Mauritius and South Africa and vice-versa. La Reunion’s position has brought a welcome relief for Mauritian tourism operators, who are already preparing to welcome back visitors from the sister island under strict compliance with current health standards.
“La Reunion Island is an important market for Mauritian tourism. We are pleased that this decision has been reconsidered. We look forward to welcoming back our brothers and sisters from La Reunion and restoring the strong ties that bind us together. Both our economies will automatically benefit, as Mauritius is a major source of revenue for travel agencies in La Reunion,” said Arvind Bundhun, CEO of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority when knowing about the decision.
In 2019, La Reunion generated 16.5% of all tourist arrivals in Mauritius, equivalent to 0.33 million visitors on a total of 1.97 million arrivals. It was the second largest inbound market after the UAE. In 2020, La Reunion generated close to 15% of all arrivals at 74,600 on a total of 501,300 visitors.
The reopening of regional tourism flows comes at a time where Mauritius Island continues to relax entry rules for vaccinated visitors.
Mauritius cancels day 5 antigen test
In a further step to relax its entry rules, Mauritius has removed the need for visitors to take a day 5 antigen test during their holiday. This is for fully vaccinated travellers staying in a hotel or other accommodation on the island, including B&Bs, guest houses and villas.
The removal of the day 5 antigen test makes travelling to Mauritius even easier. Once holidaymakers have done a PCR test prior to flying to the island and a test on arrival in Mauritius (day 0), they no longer need to test unless symptomatic. The removal of the day 5 antigen test allows guests to fully relax during their Mauritius holiday from day one.
Entry rules to Mauritius for vaccinated holidaymakers in hotels are now as follows:
- Travellers need to book a holiday through a tour operator, travel agent or directly with the hotel reservation team.
- To enter Mauritius, all travellers must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. It is also mandatory to arrange COVID-19 insurance health cover (Mauritian citizens, resident permit holders and occupational permit holders are exempted)
- Travellers must take an antigen test on arrival at the hotel (day 0). This may be chargeable, subject to the hotel policy.
- Visitors can explore the island after they receive a negative result from their antigen test on day 0
- All travellers must fill out the mandatory health forms before or during their flight to Mauritius. To save time, they can process these in advance by completing the All in One Travel Form.
Unvaccinated travellers are able to visit Mauritius but will need to quarantine for 14 days and perform PCR tests twice after arrivals.