Seychelles Tourist Board denies media claims of false positive Covid tests
The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) on Friday strongly refuted claims that the local health authority is issuing falsely positive COVID-19 tests in order to force tourists to extend their stay in the island nation.
STB said that “the first reports alleging Seychelles were giving inaccurate test results appeared in Israeli press and social media after some of their nationals tested positive upon leaving the holiday destination.”
STB chief executive Sherin Francis said it would do no good for Seychelles to interfere with COVID testing as it would increase the country’s statistics and negatively impact the destination.
“After months of struggling to restart our tourism industry, Seychelles is committed to ensuring that all of our guests have a memorable time on our islands and leave happy at the end of their stay. It would be counterproductive to do otherwise. “she said.
Francis added that, however, Seychelles cannot allow a guest to leave the country if they test positive, in accordance with Seychelles and international sanitary and sanitary measures.
“Each guest who tests positive during their stay must self-quarantine for 10 days before being allowed to return home. This is the standard observed everywhere. We ask all of our clients who find themselves in such a situation to follow the quarantine guidelines, ”she said. Explain.
Francis stressed that Seychelles can always be visited safely and that such reports should not deter potential customers from visiting the destination island.
This was echoed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, who also confirmed that Seychelles is committed to following all security measures and protocols in place to protect both its visitors and the local population.
“No country in the world can claim to be COVID-free. The government and all industry partners are committed to ensuring that Seychelles remains safe for all guests and that they have the best memories of their vacation in Seychelles It is not in the interests of Seychelles, our partners or our guests to do otherwise, knowing how heavily our economy depends on tourism, ”said Radegonde.
He added that the island nation “invests a lot of effort and money to ensure that the guest experience is not disrupted. Nonetheless, this can only be achieved if visitors also practice safety and security measures. health in place “.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, reopened its borders to visitors from all countries except directly from South Africa on March 25. The country’s travel advisory was changed late last month to include Brazil and India due to the increase in cases in both countries.
Tourism, which is the main contributor to the country’s economy, has been hit hard by the travel slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The island nation currently tops the world rankings with the highest vaccinations administered, more than 62% of all adults have received both doses of Sinopharm and Covishield vaccines.
However, the country has reintroduced some measures such as postponing the start of the new school year, early closure of shops, bars and casinos, limiting gatherings on beaches to groups of four after an increase in cases in the community, which has been given to people who let their guard down over the Easter weekend.
Meanwhile, tourists visiting Seychelles and requiring a negative PCR test upon leaving the country currently have the option of using the Ministry of Health or private testing facilities.
To assist the PCR test, at the beginning of the week, a new private laboratory opened its doors, with the largest testing capacity in the Indian Ocean and which can guarantee results within 24 hours.
Two other private clinics also offer COVID-related testing with results within 24 hours. Visitors are encouraged to use these private services.