As a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak worldwide, Seychelles has banned cruise ships through the end of 2021.
According to the Seychelles News Agency, the island chain’s Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Didier Dogley, announced the country has shut down Port Victoria to cruise liners until the beginning of 2022 to avoid a second wave of infections.
While the decision was reportedly met with “acceptance” by locals, some of which depend on tourism, Dogley and the government have a series of plans in place to support the travel industry throughout what could be a difficult stretch.
“The Seychelles Ports Authority appreciates the fact that the government has made a prudent decision to mitigate the impact that Covid-19 may have in the medium term,” port authority CEO Ronny Brutus told the Seychelles News Agency. “It is to be noted that the cruise industry has been a major catalyst by which the Covid-19 has spread throughout the world.”
“It is important to recognize the fact that the risk factor of a resurgence of the Covid-19 in Seychelles far outweighs the opportunity cost of not having cruise port calls for the next two years,” Brutus continued.
Officials also announced Seychelles’ main airport near the capital city of Victoria would reopen on June 1, but not without significant changes to the health and safety standards of the facility.
Seychelles public health commissioner, Jude Gedeon, also said the government plans to gradually lift travel restrictions depending on how the viral pandemic is handled, but does not expect tourism to rebound immediately.
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