The debate is only just beginning regarding the establishment of a certificate or passport of vaccination against COVID-19 in Europe. The Seychelles, for their part, decided a few days ago to reopen their borders to all countries of the world. But tourists desiring to enjoy the smooth sand and turquoise waters of the archipelago will only be able to cross the border if they meet one condition—they must have been vaccinated beforehand, as specified the local newspaper Nation.
Travellers will be required to show documentation certifying that they received the final dose of the vaccine at least two weeks previously to their landing.
In addition, they must show proof of a negative PCR test valid 72 hours before their trip. Such are the conditions to avoid having to undergo a quarantine upon arrival in Seychelles. Tourism is pretty much essential for the Indian Ocean archipelago, as this industry's contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) amounts to around 65%, according to the guide Lonely Planet. The country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde declared:
As you may know, the Seychelles economy is currently in a disastrous situation and we hope that all these measures will allow the economy to start again.
An attempt to kick start the economy
This measure should also encourage airlines to resume their flights to the archipelago, since fewer and fewer planes land there because fewer and fewer planes manage to get full ever since March.
This comes following the news that the country will start administering 50,000 doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine. The country's government, which experienced a record deficit in 2020, has said workers employed in the tourism industry should be considered a priority group for the country's vaccination campaign, in the hopes that they can spearhead the economic recovery.
We hope that this will open up the tourism industry for the locals, primarily for the small hotels who are struggling on La Digue, Praslin and also on Mahe.
It is now up to tourists to file back in, once vaccinated, to enjoy the near 115 island paradises that make up the archipelago and their heavenly waters.