Seychelles, an idyllic collection of islands off the coast of East Africa, is following in the footsteps of the Maldives—another beautiful collection of islands off the coast of southern India—to restart its tourism. By Meena Thiruvengadam
The destination plans to welcome all international visitors, except those from South Africa, beginning March 25, according to the Department of Tourism. Visitors won’t need to quarantine or be vaccinated, but they will have to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their departure.
Meanwhile, the Maldives fully reopened to foreign tourists in July without COVID-19 testing requirements, a feat made easier in a country where sprawling private overwater bungalows are the norm and entire islands can be bought out for $250,000 a night.
Seychelles opened to all fully vaccinated travellers, including those from the US, in January. The 115-island paradise, where Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymooned, was the first African country to welcome vaccinated travellers, according to CNBC. It hopes to reach herd immunity by mid-March when 70 per cent of the local population is expected to be vaccinated, the AP reported.
Visitors to the Seychelles, where George and Amal Clooney also honeymooned, will need to maintain social distancing while relaxing on the country’s white-sand beaches and frolicking in its turquoise waters. And don’t forget to pack a face mask, as they’re still required.
Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel+Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 US states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.