Mauritius is on track to achieve herd immunity
117,323 people vaccinated30th Mar 2021
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, Mauritius has upheld the sanitary safety of Mauritian nationals and that of visitors as a topmost priority. The island nation has been widely recognised as exercising one of the best responses to the pandemic – a strategy that has resulted in a surprisingly low incidence of the disease.
Mauritius’s vaccination programme
Mauritian authorities expressed confidence that the national vaccination campaign is on track and that the country will achieve herd immunity within the expected time frame. This has been set as a precondition for the restart of tourism.
The vaccination campaign started on 26 January and, by 24 March, 117,323 people (17% of the targeted population) had received their first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It is estimated that, in order to achieve herd immunity, the country will need to vaccinate 60% of its 1.3 million residents – about 700,000 people. Government spokesperson Dr Zouberr Joomaye stated in a press conference on 23 March 2021 that the country has secured an adequate supply of vaccines for the authorities to maintain the pace of vaccination.
Vaccination is free of charge for all Mauritians, as well as visitors who hold a premium visa.
What that means for South Africans who want to go to Mauritius
At present, no visitors are allowed into Mauritius, but people already on the island may leave – if there are flights. Travel restrictions have been extended to 31 May.
Once the restrictions have been lifted, and travellers are allowed back in, they will be subjected to a strict protocol that includes:
- proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered between five and seven days prior to the date of boarding at the last point of embarkation
- a valid air ticket to Mauritius
- proof of purchase of a travel package that includes accommodation on a full board basis at a designated hotel for a mandatory 14-day in-room quarantine.