There aren’t many reasons not to go to Seychelles. This archipelago off the eastern coast of Africa is famous for some of the world’s most spectacular beaches, wildlife reserves full of giant tortoises, a one-off Creole culture and some genuinely incredible seafood. And don’t let the jet-set reputation fool you – like the Maldives, Seychelles’ even flashier Indian Ocean neighbour, it’s possible to visit on a budget.
However, until today there was one big problem: you could only visit Seychelles from a short list of approved ‘low-risk’ countries, with a mandatory test and a five-day quarantine on arrival. (The country locked down in March last year and has been reopening tourism cautiously.) So if you were from anywhere else in the world, travel was off the cards.
Now that’s due to change – and the new rules could point the way forward for post-vaccine travel in 2021. From today, Seychelles will admit anyone, from any country, who can prove they have had a vaccine against Covid-19.
Specifically, you’ll need to have had your final dose of an approved vaccine at least two weeks before you jet off. That means the very first wave of key workers and older, more vulnerable citizens who’ve had vaccines in countries such as the UK and US could already be eligible. And most of them could probably use a beach break.
The rest of us might have to hang about a bit. But if getting the jab means the difference between staying at home and heading off on a much-delayed dream trip, you can bet we’re not going to miss that appointment.
Planning your next getaway? Here are 21 things for travellers to look forward to in 2021, and our travel editors’ tips on the best places to visit this year.