As part of bilateral cooperation and recovery efforts following the COVID-19 pandemic, Seychelles and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) developed a new travel corridor for vaccinated visitors between the two countries.
The agreement, which was signed late last week, recognizes mutual recognition of vaccination certificates given by health authorities in both nations.
Citizens and residents of the Seychelles and the United Arab Emirates will need to present documentation that they have had the latest dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to be eligible for the quarantine-free travel corridor. This must be done in accordance with the health authorities’ approved certificates. Travelers must also show proof of a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival.
In order to ensure safe and secure travel for all, travellers must also follow other preventative measures implemented at each destination. In the Seychelles, this entails social distance and the use of face masks in public.
“This is a start,” said Seychelles Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Sylvestre Radegonde on Friday, “and I hope that we can extend this kind of agreement to other countries.”
“For both countries, once a person is vaccinated, they can visit the other country without any difficulty of going into quarantine,” he added.
On March 25, Seychelles reopened its borders to commercial flights in order to revive its tourism industry, which is the island nation’s main source of revenue. Since then, the UAE – a secondary tourism market for the 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean – has risen to become the island nation’s third-largest source of visitor arrivals.
Radegonde also outlined that Seychelles’ ability to relax entry procedures can be credited to the intense vaccination program that the country started in January.
“The vaccination campaign has been quite successful. The government has done everything in its power to make sure that the population is protected. We have now arrived at the point where opening our borders further is the next step to allow for our economic recovery,” said the minister.
According to the latest update from the local health ministry, a total of 69,708 people out of the target population of 70,000 have received the first dose of either Sinopharm or Covishield, amounting to 99.6 percent of the goal, while 61,360 people have received both doses.