In a bid to reinvigorate the island’s embattled tourism industry, which is responsible for 65% of its GDP, the Seychelles announced the full reopening of its international airport for all scheduled commercial flights on Friday morning.
At the height of the pandemic, the Seychelles remained closed to most international visitors, with tourist arrivals over the past year down 70%.
The island group, roughly 1,600 km off the coast of Kenya, began reopening its borders to tourists at the end of March. The Seychelles’ Tourism Task Force Committee scrapped the previous mandatory quarantine requirement which had kept visitors at bay and did away with minimum stay requirements to entice tourists back in.
The Seychelles had previously planned to only open to vaccinated travellers but this clause was dropped ultimately in favour of mandatory PCR testing.
South Africans were, however, excluded from the list of permitted travellers in favour of British tourists who make up the bulk…