The Republic of Mauritius has begun the vaccination of staff in the tourism industry in the preparation of reopening its’ borders later in 2021.
Mauritius has announced a roll-out of the vaccination programme for tourism workers including hotel employees, Air Mauritius and Airports of Mauritius staff and other front line tourism staff. But, is it safe? With several reports of vaccine causing adverse effects on individuals worldwide. There has to be a caution which can’t be thrown to the wind.
The chairman of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Agency (MTPA), Nilen Vencadasmy said: “Mauritius is looking forward to welcoming back visitors to our Indian Ocean paradise island safe in the knowledge that we are a luxury Covid secure destination. Mauritius is vaccinating front-line tourism staff as they are essential to the safe reopening of our borders. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone within the tourism sector and we are working closely with operators, airlines, hotels and other stakeholders at home and internationally to ensure that we can reopen safely and securely in 2021.”
With the vaccine now being distributed across the country to health care professionals and citizens with underlying health conditions which started last week, the government is prioritising the tourism sector to enable Mauritius to have a safe and secure reopening of the border for international visitors. The Government is monitoring the rollout of the vaccine and working with public health professionals, scientists and tourism stakeholders with a view to amending arrival protocols as soon as possible to welcome further international tourism arrivals.
The first batch of 100,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, produced by the Serum Institute of India, arrived from Mumbai on 22 January and were a donation from the government of India. The first vaccination on the island was administered on 26 January 2021. Initially 50,000 people are being vaccinated with two doses throughout January and February 2021 with two weeks between the first dose and the second dose. Further vaccinations will be delivered from March onwards. The Mauritius government has been quick to capitalise on the opportunity to invite individuals who wished to settle in the Island especially due to Mauritius’ strong public health response to the pandemic, Mauritius has seen an increase in demand for people looking to relocate to the island for the long term. As a result of demand, Mauritius launched the Premium Visa that allows long-stay visitors to work remotely, retire or enjoy an extended holiday for 12 months with the option to renew.
This long-term visa option will remain. The government of Mauritius is expected to announce requirements for all visitors to have valid vaccination certificates on arrival and will be outlining new arrival protocols based solely on public health and science.