Mauritius will fully reopen to visitors with no quarantine after 18 months of border closures and tough entry restrictions.
The tropical paradise greeted the news with optimism and relief on Friday because over 100,000 locals are dependent on the tourism industry. The Deputy Prime Minister and the Tourism Minister stated, “the reopening is inevitable because 100,000 families depend on tourism to live.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, over 24 percent of Mauritius’s GDP was from the tourism industry. Therefore, almost a quarter of the workforce works in travel-related jobs.
The director of Sun Resorts, François Eynaud said, “We have to succeed in this reopening after 18 months of closure. We can’t miss it. Mauritius was very careful in its approach to the pandemic, but I think it was the right approach.”
Dozens of planes landed from Paris, Dubai, and London on Friday. The Tourism Minister suggested the nation is “well prepared for the reopening.” However, he also stated that there will be “increased vigilance required to reduce the risk of further contamination.”
Mauritius had partially reopened to fully vaccinated tourists earlier in the year. But travelers had to remain in resort bubbles for 14 days before they could explore the island. As a result, very few tourists bothered to make the journey.
Despite the reopening, the CDC added Mauritius to its list of high-risk “do not travel” countries recently following a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases. On the other hand, the U.K removed Mauritius from its red list recently.
The New Entry Restrictions
From October 1st, fully vaccinated travelers can explore the entire island with zero restrictions upon entry if they can provide evidence of full vaccination. Fully vaccinated travelers will need to have COVID-19 insurance health cover to enter.
What’s more, fully vaccinated travelers will need to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. Fully vaccinated travelers also need to undergo testing upon arrival on day 0 and day 5 of their vacation.
Unvaccinated travelers can still enter the country. But they will have to undergo a mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.
Unvaccinated guests will have to undergo PCR testing on day seven and day 14 of their vacation. After the PCR test shows a negative result on day 14, unvaccinated travelers can explore the island.
It’s also mandatory for unvaccinated travelers to arrange COVID-19 health insurance coverage. Unvaccinated travelers will also have to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.
The COVID-19 Situation
Mauritius has had low cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Until 2021 there were very few cases of COVID-19. However, COVID-19 cases have risen since the country partially reopened to travelers.
The country has fully vaccinated around 69 percent of its population, and around 89 percent of the population has received one COVID-19 dose. That puts Mauritius among the highest rates of vaccination worldwide.
Furthermore, Mauritius has ensured that everyone working in the travel industry is fully vaccinated to ensure maximum safety to citizens and tourists alike. There are still some restrictions on the island, such as mask-wearing.
However, all tourist attractions are open, and the country looks forward to reviving its economy post-pandemic.
This is another destination for Americans and Brits this winter.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com