THE SEYCHELLES SCRAPS PCR TEST RULE FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS
The Seychelles has scrapped the Covid PCR test rule for fully-vaccinated international travellers.
Since March, visitors, aged over 18, that have received the first two does of the Covid-19 vaccine, including a booster dose six months after the primary jabs, will be considered by the Seychelles authorities as fully immunised. Visitors aged 12 to 18 years, who have had two doses of the vaccination are also deemed fully-vaccinated.
All fully immunised visitors are now exempt from taking a pre-travel PCR test, while unvaccinated or partially vaccinated visitors will be required to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or a rapid antigen test done in a certified laboratory within 24hrs before departure to Seychelles.
Potential visitors having tested positive for Covid-19 -between 2 to 12 weeks prior to travel – are also exempt from having to take a pre-travel test, provided they can show proof of infection and recovery.
By loosening restrictions, the aim is to make Seychelles more accessible and competitive as a tourist destination.
Travel insurance to the Seychelles remains compulsory
As safe tourism experience remains essential, all visitors must have valid travel insurance in addition to their medical insurance cover and are encouraged to book their stay at certified accommodation. It is also mandatory for all visitors to apply for a Travel Authorisation prior to travel.
The Principal Secretary for Tourism Sherin Francis said that the new measures taken by the country are necessary at this stage of the recovery of the tourism industry.
“The exemption of the PCR test for fully vaccinated visitors is certainly excellent news for the Seychelles,” she said. “With restrictions being removed and many destinations reviewing their PCR requirements for entry it was a necessary step for us as a destination to retain the interest of our potential visitors. As an industry, we are keeping our commitment towards safe tourism and we should not be complacent and remain vigilant to protect our population and our visitors.”
The country has also recently eased other restrictions including the removal of the overnight curfew and closing time for entertainment services such as bars and casinos. The restriction hours ban was effectively terminated on March 1, 2022.
2022, the year of full recovery in total arrivals
The country hopes for a strong rebound in tourism this year. In 2021, Seychelles‘ bed occupancy reached 41% for the hotels and 32% in all types of accommodation. The fourth quarter however showed an improvement over previous quarters. Of all the different types of accommodation establishments in 2021 Q4, hotels recorded the highest bed occupancy at 58%, with hotels on La Digue recording a 79% bed occupancy followed by hotels on other islands with 62%, and Praslin and Mahe each with 57%
The total number of international visitors recorded during the last twelve months was 182,849, representing an increase of 59% compared to the same period in 2020. However, this number is still down by 52/4% over the record year 2019 with 384,204 visitors.
Sixty-seven percent of all tourists arriving into the archipelago came from Europe. This represented an increase of 65% over 2020. The largest number of travellers in Europe came from Russia (31,392 arrivals), France (18,425) and Germany (17,673).
Asia represented the second largest source market generating almost 25% of all arrivals. Asian travellers’ figure was up 64% compared to 2020. The average length of stay was up from 8 nights in 2020 to 9.8 nights in 2021.