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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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Vaccination Status For Tourists: Operators Want Clarification

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Will the new vaccination status in force on 15 January also apply to incoming tourists? This is a question that remains unanswered but which worries tourism stakeholders, and in particular, tour operators in Mauritius and abroad. We are already the 11th of January!

The regulations are clear that as of 15 January, the ‘Fully Vaccinated’ status will only apply to those who have received their booster/third dose. This new status will have to be shown on their digital vaccination pass or card for people to be able to access a number of public, administrative and commercial places. Although neither the Ministry of Tourism nor the Ministry of Health has yet issued a circular on this matter, in the interest of discrimination, it will be logical that the same rules will apply to tourists in their outings and visits, even if for the time being, there is no imposition of a third dose on a tourist to enter and stay in Mauritius. The worrying issue for the Association of Tourism Professionals, Daniel Saramandiff, is that “the ministries are not saying anything, except that the subject is under discussion. But we are less than 5 days away from its implementation.  The problem is that Mauritian operators owe complete and real answers to foreign operators who cannot confirm to future travellers whether their current conditions will allow them free access to Mauritius or not. Operators and tourists remain in the dark. It is clear that not all tourists, who will be interested in Mauritius, will have had a booster dose. This measure should have been communicated by the High-Level Committee at least 15 days before its implementation, especially for tourists“, he regrets.

Although the second half of January is considered as the beginning of the Off-Season for tourists on holiday, the Business Tourist has to have access to the right information before packing his bags for Mauritius.

Demand for booster dose in establishments

The booster dose vaccination for all hotel employees remains unachievable. The obstacles being the alphabetical order and the schedules of hotel employees. As Daniel Saramandiff argues, “it would be preferable for the speed of this measure if the Ministry of Health had units deployed in the hotels, just as they did for the first and second doses. Employees not yet inoculated with the booster run the risks of being penalised.

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