Seychelles relaxes COVID measures, lifting curfews, closing times, allowing family meet-ups
Restriction measures on schools will also be removed and they can open to full capacity. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - An overnight curfew and closing time for bars and casinos will be removed while family gatherings are permitted as of March 1 as health authorities in Seychelles relax measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon, told a press conference on Monday that the authorities have agreed to relax and remove some of the restrictions as indicators show that community transmission has gone down.
“All restrictions will be removed so there will be no curfew as of tomorrow but that doesn’t mean that people have to stay on the road all night. Be judicious and be careful as late nights are the time when we have the most accidents,” said Gedeon.
The overnight curfew was introduced in January last year as a stringent measure to curb community transmissions and the spread of COVID-19.
Restriction measures on schools will also be removed and they can open to full capacity.
Gedeon said that “informal family gatherings can take place. We are publishing guidance on how to have safe family gatherings and this will be disseminated to the public,”
Restriction on the opening times of casinos and bars has also been removed, although Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will still have to be followed similarly for indoor gatherings. Wedding receptions can be held in places with established SOPs while funeral services can now have a maximum of 50 people attending.
Gedeon said that restrictions on sports have already been removed and now these activities can take place with spectators but practicing social distancing and other protocols.
“Despite the removal of these restrictions, it is important to note the country is not COVID19 free, so everyone must still take responsibility for their health to ensure they protect themselves and others,” he added.
Meanwhile, the wearing of masks in public places remains mandatory while discotheques will stay closed. There is still a ban on outdoor mass gatherings such as funfair or large musical shows.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has currently 317 active cases and recorded 163 COVID-related deaths.
“We will continue to look at the trend in transmission in the coming weeks and should we see more improvement, then we will revise and possibly remove more of the remaining measures in place,” Gedeon added.