South Africans were an important tourism source market for the Seychelles prior to the global pandemic. At the end of May, the Seychelles stated that it would reopen its borders to all South African visitors from 1 June.
SEYCHELLES MAKES A U-TURN
According to Travel News, just after announcing the reopening to all South African travellers, the Seychelles has now overturned its decision to allow entry to South Africans, and is once again prohibiting travellers from South Africa from travelling to the islands.
The Seychelles Tourism Board’s regional director for Africa and the Americas, David Germaine stated on 2 June that Seychelles authorities had reversed their earlier decision to allow South Africans to travel there.
“The advisory was updated yesterday and visitors from South Africa are not allowed to enter the Seychelles,” Germaine said.
Germaine was not able to elaborate on reasons behind the Seychelles’ overturning of the decision to allow entry to South Africans. He said that the situation remained very fluid at present.
According to an insider privy to government information, the flip flopping on entry restrictions is the result of a political battle of wills between two Seychelles government departments, as stated in Travel News.
UPDATED TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
The latest advisory issued by authorities in the Seychelles includes South Africa among countries who are totally banned from entering the island destination
“Visitors who have been in South Africa, Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan within the 14 days preceding arrival in Seychelles will unfortunately be restricted entry,” an updated advisory stated.
SET BACK FOR AIR SEYCHELLES
Air Seychelles was set to resume direct flights to Johannesburg on 5 June. The revised decision to restrict entry to South Africans has meant that the airline is no longer able to restart flights to South Africa as planned.
Air Seychelles hopes to start up flights between Johannesburg and the Maldives from 11 June. The Maldives is open to South African nationals but there is no direct flight. Air Seychelles hopes to provide flights on the route.
“These flights will operate between Johannesburg and Malé in the Maldives every Friday, returning to Johannesburg via Seychelles every Saturday. We will also introduce additional frequencies in July and August,” Air Seychelles chief commercial officer Charles Johnson was quoted as saying in Travel News.
Unlimited date changes to tickets
South Africans with tickets for travel to Seychelles can apply for unlimited date changes for free with no penalty fee for travel up to 31 December 2021.