Seychelles to welcome back tourists

Seychelles will reopen its borders from the end of this month as the island nation prepares to welcome back tourists and hopes to resuscitate a sector of the economy that has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As the coronavirus began to spread around the world, authorities closed the archipelago to the rest of the world, resulting in losses to travel, resorts, cruise ships and customers’ nature reserves.

“The Seychelles will reopen to tourists from all over the world… on March 25,” a state news agency said according to the statement provided by Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Sylvestre Radegonde.

Tourists from all over the world, except South Africa, can enter the archipelago.

Tourism revenues fell by more than 61% as restrictions against the coronavirus reduced arrivals by 70%.

The island nation will be open to tourists, but with rules that tourists must be tested for the coronavirus within 72 hours before entering the country. Tourists who test negative will not have to pass quarantine, but must stay in government-certified hotels and comply with coronavirus measures.

Masks, hand disinfection, and social and physical distancing will be mandatory.

“We hope that this will give the breathing space that the economy needs, that the country needs,” the minister was quoted as saying by the agency.

The country so far has at least 2,618 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 11 deaths, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.

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