The Republic of the Seychelles is an island state made up of an archipelago of 115 islands located off the east coast of Africa.
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Geographically and politically it is considered part of Africa. The country is heavily reliant on tourism to keep the wheels of its economy turning.
COVID-19 DECIMATES SEYCHELLES TOURISM
Travel bans and international border closures have had a devastating effect on global tourism, affecting countries like the Seychelles, where tourism is the lifeblood of the small island state. The country reopened its borders in October 2020 to resuscitate its tourism sector.
Lockdowns and second surges in infections in the countries which are the Seychelles’ key tourism source markets have been a heavy blow to the country’s bread-and-butter industry.
The Seychelles is currently included in the regional travel ban which the UK has placed on 11 countries in Southern Africa, as the UK attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in its own territory.
SEYCHELLES LEADS THE WAY
The government of the Seychelles has taken bold steps in its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to revive its damaged economy. The island state launched its National COVID-19 Immunisation Campaign on 10 January.
The country’s president, Wavel Ramkalawan, led the way by being the first head of state in Africa to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He had the SinoPharm COVID-19 vaccination.
The Seychelles has an estimated population of 98,000 people. The Seychelles aims to be the first country in the world to vaccinate more than 70% of its population over the age of 18.
ROBUST VACCINATION CAMPAIGN
The Seychelles received a donation of 50,000 doses of the SinoPharm COVID-19 vaccine from the United Arab Emirates. A further 100,000 doses of Oxford’s Astra-Zeneca vaccine will arrive from India at the end of January.
This will enable the Seychelles to be in the lead through vaccinating most of its population in a short period of time.
“With such a robust vaccination campaign, Seychelles aims to be the first country in the world to vaccinate at least 70% of its over-18 population. From there we will be able to declare Seychelles as being COVID safe. This will allow us to reopen our economy,” Ramkalawan said on the country’s official State House website.
REBUILDING TOURISM SECTOR OF SEYCHELLES
The Seychelles is eager to welcome international tourists back to the archipelago. The island paradise is known for high-end luxury getaways favoured by honeymooners and those in search of eco-tourism experiences. The country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism said economic recovery depended on the return of international tourists.
“The COVID-19 immunisation campaign is an important milestone for the restart of our tourism industry as the country balances its efforts to maintain its tourism activities and protect its population from further spread of the virus,” Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde was quoted onTravel Update.