COVID-19 HOTLINE: 141

Public Health Authority update on COVID-19 and new travel advisory

Since the onset of the outbreak of the COVID-19 in China, the number of cases has continued to increase. There are territories outside China registering new cases. To date there are over 75,000 confirmed cases in 27 countries but most cases have been in China. There are also more cases recorded on a cruise ship in Japan and in a city in South Korea. Almost a quarter of all the confirmed cases have recovered so far. More is known about COVID-19 however there remains more to be known. Therefore, countries have to continue to take extra measures. Given Seychelles’ specificity as a small island state, its vulnerability and potential economic impact of such an outbreak in the country, several measures had been taken and they still stand. Below is a revision that reinforces them.

Until further notice, no persons (apart from returning residents), are allowed to travel to China, including the Special Administrative Region (SAR) or any other country where there has been significant community transmission as determined by the Public Health Authority of Seychelles.

Local trade partners have been advised to give all visitors from China, including the SAR or any other country where there has been significant community transmission as determined by the Public Health Authority of Seychelles, who were planning to visit the Seychelles in the coming months, the opportunity to cancel or postpone their holiday at no cost.

All foreign workers who are presently in China and any other country where there has been significant community transmission as determined by the Public Health Authority of Seychelles, and were planning to return to Seychelles are directed to postpone their return travel until further notice.
All airlines with inbound flights for Seychelles, are directed not to board any passengers or crew (except returning Seychellois nationals and residents) who have been to China (including the SAR), or any country where there has been significant community transmission as determined by the Public Health Authority of Seychelles, in the last 14 days.

  • Any person arriving in Seychelles by sea (except returning Seychellois nationals and residents) will not be allowed to disembark if he/she has been to China, (including the SAR), or any country where there has been significant community transmission as determined by the Public Health Authority of Seychelles, in the last 14 days.
  • Any marine vessel will not be allowed to enter Seychelles waters if any passenger on board has been to China, (including the SAR), or any country where there has been significant community transmission as determined by the Public Health Authority of Seychelles, in the last 14 days.
  • All returning residents who have been to China, including the SAR and any other country where there has been significant community transmission as determined by the Public Health Authority of Seychelles, will be put under obligatory quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

The public health Authority continues to reinforce the other measures in place locally and a summary of those
are:

  • Intensified surveillance at ports of entry
  • Active and passive surveillance of all passengers arriving from China
  • Establishment of quarantine facilities
  • Alerts to all medical services including case definition
  • Importation of Lab supplies and linkages with reference labs and procurement of testing kits
  • Inventory and replenishing of PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Activation of various Standard Operating Procedures
  • Treatment facility preparedness and protocol
  • Safe Waste management processes and procedures
  • Refresher training in infection prevention and control
  • Risk communication and community engagement team activated
  • Press release/ Press briefings/ Live programme on broadcast media
  • Travel advisories
  • WHO local office engagement and briefing
  • Social media engagement to disseminate information and dispel rumours and misinformation.

Furthermore, The Public Health Authority also continues to reinforce these general travel measures for
travelers to other countries to adopt:

  •  avoid crowded places and close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness;
  • observe good personal hygiene;
  •  practice frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing);
  •  wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose;
  • avoid contact with live animals and consumption of raw and undercooked meats;
  • cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately and wash hands or use alcohol based hand sanitisers;
  • all travelers should monitor their health closely for two weeks upon return to Seychelles and seek medical attention promptly if feeling unwell, and also inform their doctor of their travel history;
  • if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose), you should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.