Post the Covid-19 lockdown, Mauritius has finally opened its doors to international visitors hoping to rebuild its vital tourism industry. The country was shut for international visitors due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
This decision received a mixed reaction. Some optimism, relief and caution was seen within the locals in paradise of Indian Ocean.
“This reopening is inevitable because 100,000 families depend on tourism to live,” Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Steven Obeegadoo said at a press conference, reported AFP.
He pointed out that 68% of the 1.3 million people living had been fully vaccinated and 89% are partially vaccinated. According to reports, these are also among the highest vaccinated rates in the world.
The renowned holiday destination, known for its picturesque white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, had partly reopened to fully vaccinated visitors in July for the first time since the pandemic started in early 2020.
However, the tourists had to be isolated in “resort bubbles” for 14 days before being able to venture outside. The first pack of tourists were arriving from Dubai, Paris and London, and will have to undergo certain Covid-19 testing requirements during their stay in Mauritius.
Steven said the country had “prepared well” for the return of international visitors. “At the same time, increased vigilance will be required to reduce the risk of further contamination,” he said, reported AFP.
Mauritius was recently also added to the UK’s “clear for travel” list recently, although the US Centers for Disease Control added Mauritius to its list of high-risk Covid-19 destinations, stating that travelers should “avoid” the country.
According to reports on the Africa CDC website, Mauritius recorded 13,685 Covid-19 cases as of September 26, but the 7-day average dropped sharply from a peak in August.
During mid-July, when the country partially reopened, the number of infections was at 2,190.