Overview and situation analysis
As of 24th March 2020, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has exceeded 372,000 in 195 countries, territories and areas. According to the WHO situation report of 24th March 2020, the total number of deaths globally stands at over 16,000. Italy is still the country with the most deaths, followed by Spain and United Kingdom; and the epidemic does not show signs of slowing down in most places. Transmission varies from one place to another, and is highly influenced by response measures adopted by each country. Almost all countries have registered confirmed cases, with the rate of infection rising rapidly, and further restrictive measures being taken. According to WHO, Europe remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a significant increase in numbers and community transmission of new infections.
Community transmission is now occurring to different degrees on all continents. Containment remains a major challenge worldwide and countries are gradually implementing stricter measures.
Flight bookings and arrivals into Seychelles have declined significantly and this is already showing signs of adverse impact on the local economy. However, with the outbreak escalating globally, there is a possibility of having new cases of COVID-19 amongst passengers who have already arrived in Seychelles.
Seychelles needs to continue focusing its resources on dealing with the current situation locally and mitigating the impact of the outbreak on its citizens.
Revised travel measures
With immediate effect until further notice:
• Any passenger arriving from ANY country (except returning Seychellois citizens) will NOT be allowed to enter Seychelles.
• In the event that a person who has been to ANY country (except returning Seychellois citizens) arrives in Seychelles, he/she will not be allowed entry and the carrier airline or vessel will be responsible for the immediate return of the passenger.
• All Seychellois citizens returning from ANY country will be subjected to additional health screening and placed under obligatory quarantine for at least 14 days upon arrival.
• All airlines with inbound flights for Seychelles, are directed not to board any passengers or crew (except returning Seychellois citizens) from ANY country.
• Any person arriving in Seychelles by sea from any marine vessel (except returning Seychellois citizens) will not be allowed to disembark.
• 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 and possible contacts.
• A foreign national who requires to enter Seychelles for any special mission has to obtain written permission from the Public Health Commissioner prior to leaving the country of origin.
The following measures still apply
• All Seychelles citizens and residents are banned from travelling abroad, effective as of Monday 23rd March 2020, for a period of 30 days.
• All foreign workers holding a Seychelles GOP are not allowed to return until further notice. No new GOPs are to be issued.
• All Seychellois nationals who are presently in countries which have imposed a ban on international travel are strongly advised to comply with local preventive measures, including social distancing, being implemented in those particular countries and to avoid any travel or other movement that increases their risk of getting infected.
• As of 10th March 2020, all cruise ships are not allowed entry into Seychelles’ waters until further notice.
• In addition to cruise ships, all leisure boats are not allowed entry into Seychelles’ waters until further notice.
• All boat and pleasure craft excursions and activities must be scaled down.
WHO continues to emphasise the need for countries to be aggressive in enhancing preparedness and respond to cases, and to take all mitigating measures required, without creating panic.
Seychelles continues to reinforce its outbreak preparedness and response plan.
The Department of Health wishes to thank all partners and stakeholders for their support and understanding.
Under new guidelines issued by the Public Health Authority, no COVID-19 screening tests is needed for persons placed under home quarantine during or upon completion of the quarantine period. Testing may be recommended for persons who develop symptoms of the infection. All persons placed under home quarantine who develop symptoms are advised to visit the special stations at Glacis Health Centre, Baie Lazare Health Centre and Mont Fleuri Health Centre. The home quarantine period should be completed for 14 days, from arrival in Seychelles or last contact with a positive case of COVID-19. A certificate of quarantine will be presented at the end of the quarantine period.
Anyone with symptoms related to COVID-19 are asked to report to special stations at Glacis Health Centre, Baie Lazare Health Centre and Mont Fleuri Health Centre between 8am-12pm and 1pm-2pm. People who use these health centres for regular consultations, should go to their regional centres.