Mauritius launched its Covid-19 vaccination programme this week. Picture: Supplied
Mauritius launched its Covid-19 vaccination programme this week. Picture: Supplied

Mauritius one step closer to fully reopening destination

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jan 28, 2021

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Mauritius launched its Covid-19 vaccination programme, giving priority to frontline workers including health care professionals, employees within the tourism industry, senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions.

Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) said in a statement that 50 000 frontliners were being considered for the vaccination campaign.

Mauritius, which is currently closed to South African travellers, hopes to restart their tourism sector following devastating effects of the pandemic.

The tourism driven destination has been praised for how they handled the Covid-19 protocols and is regarded as having one of the world’s best responses to the pandemic.

With the implementation of strict quarantine measures and thorough testing protocols since the outbreak, there has been little to no disruption of social life in Mauritius since June 2020 with almost no known cases of community transmission.

The country received a perfect 100 on the Oxford University Stringency Index, which tracks government policy and action regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

"With 50% of them being in the tourism sector. Government’s objective remains the restart of the tourism sector in

the safest conditions The country has seen an increase in demand from visitors looking to relocate to a Covid-safe environment for work, leisure, or retirement. The Premium Visa has been introduced for this purpose and allows for extended visits of 12 months with an option for further extensions," MTPA said in a statement.

The organisation revealed that entry restrictions and quarantine requirements are expected to be eased progressively based on the evolution of the pandemic and upon visitors having achieved immunity.

The situation is being closely monitored with vaccination campaigns already started in Mauritius’s main tourism markets. It is expected that vaccinated

visitors may soon be granted free access to the country.

The first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India, arrived from Mumbai on Friday, January 22 as a donation from the government of India. Doses required to complete the vaccination campaign are expected from Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer, with an initial consignment approved through the COVAX facility.

"The ultimate objective of the vaccination campaign is to inoculate 60% of the country’s population of 1.3 million to achieve herd immunity," the statement added.

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