Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Seychelles to enforce 21-day nationwide restriction period from 2359 April 8 through April 29 to stem the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects Seychelles

This alert began 08 Apr 2020 21:58 GMT and is scheduled to expire 29 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Start Time/Date: 2359 April 8
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Seychelles announced April 8 that they will enforce a nationwide 21-day period of restrictions from 2359 April 8 to 2359 April 29 as part of the country's efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Measures to be in effect include:

  • All persons in Seychelles are restricted from outdoor movement, except to access necessary food supplies and essential services;
  • Employees of nonessential services will be required to work from home. Workers in essential services will still be allowed to travel for work; a list of all essential services will be published April 8, which is subject to change;
  • All shops except those that sell groceries and pharmaceuticals products will remain closed, grocery stores will be open 0600-1830;
  • All restaurants and take-away food outlets will remain closed to the public;
  • No formal or informal gatherings or activities are allowed;
  • Public bus services will be reduced to the level necessary to provide transportation of staff for essential services;
  • Physical distancing must be observed at all times.


Authorities have been taking measures to halt the spread of the disease, including the closure of International Victoria Seychelles Airport (SEZ) until the end of April, the closure of all schools, and a travel ban of Seychellois citizens to foreign countries. Cargo transport remains open with heightened screening measures.

Background and Analysis
Seychelles's preventative restrictions correspond with similar actions other governments are taking globally in response to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Ministry of Public Health and Hygiene: www.health.gov.sc