Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Air travel suspended from March 31 as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

This alert affects Seychelles

This alert began 01 Apr 2020 13:01 GMT and is scheduled to expire 17 Apr 2020 19:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: March 31
  • Impact: Severe travel and business disruptions

Summary
Passenger flights from International Victoria Seychelles Airport (SEZ) have been suspended March 31 as part of measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The closure follows the departure of the final repatriation flight from the airport March 31. The closure follows the suspension of air travel to the islands. Current measures will replace initial restrictions that refused entry into the country except for returning Seychellois citizens. Furthermore, no marine vessel will be allowed to enter Seychellois waters if any passengers onboard have been to high-risk nations in the last 14 days. Local travel by sea is still permitted. Cargo transport is likely to continue although heightened screening measures are almost certain.

Other measures in place include a ban on Seychelles citizens conducting international travel. Shops will be closed daily from 1830 and groups of more than four people have also been restricted from March 30.

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