The nation of Seychelles made grand plans to be the world’s first vaccinated country, according to various media reports, among them an article from ABTA Magazine.
“With such a robust vaccination campaign, Seychelles aims to be the first country in the world to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of its over-18 population. From there, we will be able to declare Seychelles as being Covid safe,” said Seychelles President Ramkalawan.
Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde noted that the immunisation campaign was an ‘important milestone’ for the restart of the country’s tourism industry – Seychelles’ tourism accounts for about 65 per cent of its GDP.
“The world has not come to a standstill and there are people who are still keen to travel. We need to rebuild our industry fast, for our economic prosperity depends on it,” Radegonde said.
Changing travel requirements calls for a well-thought-out product line
As part of its big tourism push, Seychelles has opened up to travellers from around the world – providing they can prove they have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Non-vaccinated travellers are also still permitted to enter from certain countries, supposing they can show proof of a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours in advance of travel (much like the regulations that are due to come into effect in the US and other countries).
Could travel vaccines become an pre-requisite for international travel? It’s likely still too soon to say, but ITIJ ponders whether countries are considering imposing travel timeframes for those who have been vaccinated in the long-term, as vaccine durability and individual behaviours may call the effectiveness of vaccine rollout into question (scientists are concerned that vaccinated individuals may relax their attitudes towards social distancing and lockdown rules, according to some media sources).
For now, travel insurers should consider what these emerging regulations will mean for their product lines. Many people who may have booked trips to the Seychelles that might not yet be able to receive a vaccine may consider upping their insurance cover to include cancel for any reason cover, as well as Covid-related cancellation cover.