One of South Africa’s favourite African travel destinations, Mauritius, has closed its borders to all foreign nationals, including South Africans, following its confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth confirmed on Wednesday that three people tested positive for Covid-19.
The prime minister further announced that no commercial aircraft would be allowed to land on the island from 10am today.
“This has a direct and immediate impact on the flights departing from South Africa on Thursday, 19 March, and for the next two weeks. The ban will be in effect for at least the next 14 days, in order to contain the spread of the virus, and as health officials deal with and treat the three confirmed cases,” said Mauritus Tourism.
In response to the prime minister’s travel ban, Air Mauritius announced that no passengers would be allowed entry or transit to the island.
While crew members would be allowed entry, they would be confined to their hotel rooms.
“The above directives do not apply for passengers travelling on the Mauritius-Rodrigues route. Air Mauritius wishes to inform the public that no passenger will be uplifted on its flights to Mauritius. Flight schedules are currently being amended accordingly and the passengers travelling out of Mauritius will be informed of revised schedules in due course,” said the airline.
For the period 17 until 31 March, SAA also cancelled a total of 162 flights. Of these, 38 were international and 124 regional (destinations on the African continent).
“The effects of the outbreak of the coronavirus have led to travel disruptions and restrictions across the world, leading to the grounding of aircraft, releasing employees, and cancelling flights for many airlines. SAA is not immune to these realities,” it said in a statement.
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)