Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
13 Sep 2021
1:15 pm

Seychelles now open to SA travellers: Here’s what you need to know

Kaunda Selisho

Vaccinated or not, South Africans can now travel to Seychelles' Indian Ocean islands for a much-needed holiday under the ongoing pandemic.

A beach in Seychelles. Picture: Supplied

From today onwards, South African travellers can once again make their way to Seychelles. 

The Indian Ocean islands’ ministry of health announced the travel update over the weekend.

This comes after Seychelles removed South Africa from its list of “restricted countries” based on the latest Covid-19 infection rate and vaccination data from South Africa.

Do South Africans need to be vaccinated to travel to Seychelles?

Simply put; passengers from South Africa, vaccinated or not, will be allowed entry to the islands without the need for quarantine upon arrival.

Even though entry and stay conditions will not be affected by Covid-19 vaccination status, visitors are strongly encouraged to be fully immunised before travel.

Seychelles Covid test requirements

South Africans travelling to Seychelles will also need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test done within 72 hours of departure and complete a Health Travel Authorisation which can be accessed here.

They will need to provide proof of valid travel and health insurance to cover Covid-related quarantine, isolation or treatment.

According to the latest Health Entry and Stay Conditions for Travellers update (V3.5), visitors from South Africa meeting the above criteria may – while they are in Seychelles – stay in any certified tourism establishments with no minimum length of stay in the first establishment. 

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“They need not take a routine day 5 surveillance PCR test,” stated authorities. This is in addition to the test taken prior to travel. 

“Conditions for stay for children up to age 17, regardless of their vaccination status, will be as for the parent/guardian they are accompanying. Visitors who have been in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal and/or Pakistan, countries which remain on the Restricted List, in the preceding 14 days will however not be permitted entry into Seychelles.”

Seychelles tourism under lockdown

The Indian Ocean island relies heavily on tourism. A large part of the country’s economy is derived from foreign visitors and South Africa is among the list of countries that provides the islands with visitors. 

According to authorities, Seychelles is a sought-after destination for South Africans, with the destination recording over 14,355 visitors in 2017. 

“The pandemic and ensuing restrictions have hamstrung travel and from generating 12,000 visitors prior to the pandemic in 2019, arrivals dropped to less than 2,000 last year and to 218 as at 5 September this year.”

As a result, the island’s minister of foreign affairs and tourism Sylvestre Radegonde is very optimistic about the reopening of borders and what this means for “the opportunities that this important market offers, primarily for the fly-fishing niche, and beyond that to the South American market”.

“With over 71% of our population fully vaccinated and the vaccination of adolescents 12-18 years well underway, Seychelles is doing what is necessary to keep both its population and its visitors safe,” he added. 

What to do in Seychelles?

The cluster of Indian Ocean Islands doesn’t just offer picturesque beaches with crystal clear waters, visitors can venture on nature trails, go hiking, snorkelling, diving and sailing all while getting to know the incredibly friendly locals.

There are also a multitude of cultural activities on offer. 

For complete details of requirements, all visitors should consult here prior to booking a trip:

For any additional enquiries please contact pha@health.gov.sc or info@seychelles.com.

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