You shall not pass: Seychelles’ red-list ban on South Africans continues

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The Seychelles ban on South Africans is set to continue despite the announcement that the island nation is set to reopen borders to international travellers (both vaccinated and non-vaccinated) on 25 March 2021.

Taking the hit for the red list

The reason for the continued travel ban for South Africa is “to protect the European market”, as stated by Sylvestre Radegonde, the Seychelles’ Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism in a statement released on 4 March 2021.

According to Radegonde, allowing travellers from South Africans into the Seychelles could keep the island on the “red list”.

“The problem is the European market,” he explained. “We are already on a red list in England associated with flights to South Africa.” Whilst British and Irish Nationals travelling from red list countries are allowed to re-enter the UK, they are subjected to strict testing measures and a mandatory ten-day quarantine at a state-run hotel.

And although South Africa remains a valuable source market for the Seychelles — more than 12,000 travellers arriving on their shimmering shores pre-Covid-19—, European travellers are still considered more valuable to the country’s economic recovery.

As Business Insider reports, European travellers to the Seychelles numbered more than 240,000 in 2018, of which 12% were from the United Kingdom (UK).

Immunisation drive and COVID-19 updates

Despite the efforts of the local government embarking on a robust immunisation campaign, which has now been administered to almost 70% of the country’s population, the Seychelles ban on South African travellers will continue to persist until further revision.

Currently, international visitors will only need to present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure and there will be no quarantine requirement. Upon entry, they will still be required to adhere to other public health measures including wearing of face masks, social distancing, and regular sanitisation.

For more updates, remember to check the Seychelles Department of Health on Facebook.

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Original Article Posted on The South African