The principal secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Alan Renaud told SNA that Seychelles has been looking into border security even before COVID-19, however, the outbreak of the pandemic sped up the process.
“When Seychelles’ task force was looking at how to reopen the borders and we had identified that we had to have passengers send in information where the Public Health Authority was able to screen passengers. We were trying to do this in house and when Travizory showed us their updated version that included that, we realised that they had solved the problem that we were actually trying to do,” said Renaud.
At the moment, a traveller to Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean - needs to submit a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours prior to travelling and fill out a form, providing flights and accommodation details, among others, all of which need to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The issue with the way that we are doing things at the moment is its very manual. Travellers have a lot of forms to fill and behind the scenes, there is a team at the Public Health Authority that has to manually go through each application. This can be done when you have about 50 passengers on a flight, but when we start seeing tourism pick up, it will suddenly become very unmanageable,” said Renaud.
With the launch of the online service, people coming into Seychelles will no longer need to manually fill the forms and send documents to the health authority. Instead, they will need to upload required documents, a photo and fill in the questionnaire.
The first pool will group people whose information looks good. Upon arrival in Seychelles, these people will be fast-tracked. The second group will fall under ‘question on arrival’. A person who falls in this category will have to provide more information to immigration. The third group will be ‘test on arrival’.
“Everyone will need to do their test but due to the circumstance, we really need to be safe so some people will be flagged for testing,” explained Irminger.
The fourth category will be ‘quarantine upon arrival’ and this will be the case for Seychellois from high-risk countries. At the moment, Seychellois who come from a not permitted country is allowed to enter but on arrival, they will need to go a managed facility to be quarantined.