Seychelles is an island nation located off the East Coast of Africa. There are 115 islands in the archipelago. They are best known for their astonishingly beautiful beaches and as the paradise visited by Prince William and Princess Catherine on their honeymoon. Tourism contributes to a robust portion of the Seychellois economy. The pause in worldwide travel due to the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the livelihood of many of those who call Seychelles home.
The advent of the Covid vaccine has had a powerful impact on the population of Seychelles. For the past few months, the Seychellois government has made vaccinating people of almost 100,000 people a top priority. India donated 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The United Arab Emirates donated 50,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. The government purchased an additional 40,000 doses to ensure that the entire population could be vaccinated.
The vaccine campaign has been highly successful. It is estimated that 70% of the population was vaccinated by March 2021. The elderly, frontline healthcare workers and some tourism employees were among the first to be vaccinated. Thanks to the involvement of political and religious leaders, community members felt secure in getting their vaccinations. Epidemiologists consider that when 70% of any given group has been vaccinated, it is possible to reach herd immunity. Based on its vaccination rates, Seychelles has reached herd immunity and can now safely reopen to receive tourists.
Although Seychelles has reached herd immunity, guidelines remain in place for visitors. A negative COVID-PCR test taken 72 hours before departure must be presented upon arrival. During their stay in Seychelles, tourists need to book accommodation in one of 700 certified tourism establishments. A reservation is an accredited tourism establishment that allows visitors to freely roam around all 115 islands and explore all its beautiful beaches and amazing natural wonders without any restrictions. Quarantine is no longer mandatory.
Achieving herd immunity has transformed Seychelles. Welcoming tourists back to the islands will allow the Seychellois economy to improve, as people can return to work, and foreign money will once again be circulating in the economy. Recovery might not happen immediately, but thanks to the Covid vaccine, Seychelles is on the right path.