Visiting non-resident citizens to pay for quarantine

The Department of Health has clarified that those Seychellois citizens who reside abroad and want to come home for a visit have to pay for their fourteen days quarantine. Residents who come from overseas treatment or government missions abroad do not have to pay for quarantine, of which the 14 days bill amounts to over seventeen thousand rupees for a single adult. On the other hand, those who do travel abroad despite the advisory of the health department and who go to medium risk countries will have to pay for their quarantine.

Dr. Danny Louange, the CEO of the Health Care Agency explained this to the media in a press con-ference last Thursday. The question was put as to whether those citizens residing abroad and who want to participate in the elections this week will have to pay for quarantine. There is an opinion group which sees this specification in the regulations as unfair and say that it obstructs a person’s ability to participate in the voting process. They say that it is a discrimination as quarantine is a service for the Seychellois and it should be freely available to every citizen.

Dr. Louange explained that while it is a service, it is one which comes with a high cost. He said that the department is facilitating the voting process for those who are in quarantine, as it has collabo-rated with the electoral commission to have a special voting station at the quarantine centre, so that even if the citizens who have come in late and have to go into quarantine want to vote they can do so without leaving the quarantine centre. It is worth noting, that only those Seychellois who come in from high risk countries go into quarantine at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay facility whereas others go into home surveillance.

For his part, Dr. Jude Gedeon the Public Health Commissioner said that these regulations are based on legal instruments and are part of the overall measures to ensure public safety while at the same time permitting economic activity to go on during this pandemic. Speaking about the in-creasing numbers of COVID19  infection cases in those countries which are Seychelles’ principal tourism markets, he said that the health authority is monitoring the situation closely and if it needs to, it will take appropriate steps to further safeguard public health.

“However, even in those countries, their governments are taking steps to curb the spread of the vi-rus in this second wave. They are imposing severe restrictions on travel, so already the actions may not even be ours to take, as Europe, the US and the west in general is bracing up for a new wave of COVID19”

He explained that in many of these countries where the second wave is showing big spikes in the number of infected persons, this is due to non-adherence to public safety guidelines.

“Many of these countries held political public gatherings  and organisers flouted safety measures, so the virus has been able to spread rapidly once again” .

Dr. Gedeon reminded the public to take appropriate steps to protect themselves during the election period.