Seychelles closes borders to southern African countries due to new COVID-19 variant
The Ministry said that this is because of the new variant called B.1.1.529 that has been detected in South Africa. (Marco Verch, Flickr) Photo License: CC BY
(Seychelles News Agency) - Visitors from seven southern African countries will not be permitted to enter Seychelles from Saturday November 27 until further notice under new travel measures announced by the local health authorities on Friday due to a new variant of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health said that the new restrictions apply to South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The Ministry said that this is because of the new variant called B.1.1.529 that has been detected in South Africa.
According to CNBC, a world business news service, "The World Health Organisation is monitoring a new variant with numerous mutations to the spike protein, scheduling a special meeting Friday to discuss what it may mean for vaccines and treatments."
Under the new measures, Seychellois and residents who have been to any of these countries in the last two weeks upon their return to Seychelles will go into self-quarantine and take a compulsory PCR test five days after their arrival.
"All persons already in Seychelles who have been to these countries in the last two weeks are required to go do a PCR test if they have been in Seychelles from five to 14 days after arrival. Those who have been in Seychelles for less than five days should wait for day 5 to do a PCR test," said the Ministry.
Visitors from South Africa were again allowed to enter Seychelles since September 13 after the Ministry of Health removed the country from its restricted list.
The Ministry of Health is strongly discouraging Seychellois to travel to the seven restricted countries.
Meanwhile, Seychelles an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has seen a spike in active COVID-19 cases. According to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health on Thursday, there are 483 active cases and 125 COVID- related deaths.