The Seychelles Tourism Board has said that the destination is safe to visit, strongly refuting claims that Seychelles health authority are issuing ‘false’ COVID-19 test results.
The initial reports alleging Seychelles was giving out ‘inaccurate’ test results appeared in the Israeli press and social media after some of their nationals tested positive upon their exit from the holiday destination.
Seychelles has categorically refuted the allegations, stressing it is not in the interest of the destination to frustrate its guests upon departure, especially as it needs tourism to rebuild its economy.
The Seychelles Tourism Board’s Chief Executive, Sherin Francis, has said that it would serve no purpose for Seychelles to interfere with the COVID tests as this would directly increase their statistics and reflect negatively on the destination.
“After months of struggling to restart our tourism industry, Seychelles is committed to ensuring that all our guests spend a memorable time on our islands and leave happy at the end of their stay. It would be counterproductive to do otherwise,” she said.
Mrs Francis said that, however, Seychelles cannot allow a guest to exit the country if tested positive, this in compliance to Seychelles and international health and sanitary measures.
“Every guest testing positive during their stay has to quarantine for ten days before being allowed to return home. This is the norm being observed everywhere. We are asking all our guests who find themselves in such a predicament to follow the quarantine guidelines,” she explained.
STB’s CEO stressed that Seychelles is still safe to visit and that such reports should not deter potential clients from visiting the island destination.
The Minister for Foreign and Affairs and Tourism, Mr Sylvestre Radegonde, has also confirmed that Seychelles is dedicated to following all safety measures and protocols in place to safeguard both its visitors and the local population.
The destination is investing a lot of effort, and funds, in making sure that the experience of the guests remains undisturbed, he said. Nonetheless, this can only be achieved if the visitors also practice the safety and health measures in place.
“No country in the world can claim to be COVID-free. The government and all industry partners are dedicated to ensuring that Seychelles remains safe for all guests and that they keep the best memories of their Seychelles’ holiday. It is not in the interest of Seychelles, our partners or our guests to do otherwise, knowing how our economy is heavily reliant on tourism,” Minister Radegonde said.
Tourists visiting Seychelles and requiring a negative PCR Test upon exiting the country currently have the option of using the Ministry of Health’s or private testing facilities.
Earlier this week, a new private laboratory opened its door, with the biggest testing capacity in the Indian Ocean and which can guarantee the results under 24 hrs. Two other private clinics had also been offering COVID-related tests with results within 24hrs. Visitors are being encouraged to make use of these private services.