As the term “vaccine tourism” becomes increasingly common in the media, Mauritius is working to become one of the top destinations for travelers looking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
This breathtaking island nestled in the Indian Ocean has been a desirable destination for years. It’s located a few hundred miles off the south-eastern coast of Africa and has been famous for its turquoise waters, lagoons, and reefs. Now it’s making a name for itself as the only country in the world offering long-term visitor visas free of charge that come with an added perk – a free COVID-19 vaccination.
What is vaccine tourism?
Vaccine tourism has become popular in the past days and weeks as nations all over the world look to incentivize travel to their countries. As countries work to get back to pre-pandemic levels of tourism, offering a free vaccine to long-term visitors is a viable option.
Along with incentivizing travel, offering travelers the vaccine also significantly lowers a country’s likelihood of experiencing virus spikes. As the discussion surrounding vaccine passports becoming an international travel requirement becomes more hotly debated, the appeal of vaccine tourism skyrockets.
How to qualify for a vaccine as a visitor to Mauritius
The government of Mauritius has broadened the scope of its COVID-19 vaccination program to go beyond their own citizens. Now any long-term international visitor over the age of 18 is eligible to receive a vaccine. You must qualify for the Premium Visa which has fairly easy requirements when compared to other long stay visa’s we have covered.
To qualify to get the vaccine as a visitor to Mauritius, you must hold their premium visa. In order to be eligible for a premium visa:
- You must not enter the Mauritius labor market. While you may work remotely during your stay in Mauritius, you must not be planning on doing any work in-country.
2. You must make your main income outside of Mauritius. Any work that you do while in-country must be with clients and businesses outside of the country.
3. You must have documentary evidence available during your application that explains the details of your stay. You will need a reason for your visit, details of where you plant to stay, a copy of your plane ticket (including your return ticket), etc.
4. You must have sufficient travel insurance and health insurance.
In addition to international visitors who are applying for a Mauritius travel visa for the first time, residents of the country who currently hold a work permit are also eligible for a free vaccination.
As the only country offering free long-term visas that come with free vaccinations, Mauritius is poised to become a top destination over the coming weeks. This is the result of rigorous planning on the part of the Mauritius government.
The country’s expanded vaccination program is part of their national campaign to make Mauritius 100% COVID-secure. Their goal is to be able to allow for a full reopening of the country to visitors from around the world as soon as possible. The government of Mauritius is hoping to accomplish this by building up immunity in their own population and preventing any new instances of viral spread from entering the country.
Details of the Mauritius vaccine
The vaccinations found in Mauritius currently are the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covishield vaccines. You will need to schedule your vaccination, after you have obtained your premium visa, and bring your premium visa with you to your appointment along with your passport.
Visitors can stay for up to one year on the program. Apply for the The Mauritius premium visa.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com