The travel ban has had dire consequences for the travel and tourism industries of both Mauritius and SA. Picture: 123RF/freeartist
The travel ban has had dire consequences for the travel and tourism industries of both Mauritius and SA. Picture: 123RF/freeartist

The Covid-19 travel ban imposed by Mauritius on SA, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia is being lifted on Friday.

“We are very pleased that South Africans can once again travel to Mauritius,” said Arvind Bundhun, director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).

“Covid-19 has placed significant pressure on all nations to do the right thing and we thank South Africans and the SA travel industry for their patience.”

The ban has had dire consequences for the travel and tourism industries of both Mauritius and SA — the latter typically sending about 120,000 travellers to the island each year, reported The Sunday Times.

Mauritius had initially extended its ban on travel from Southern African countries until January 31, despite the presence of the Covid-19 Omicron variant on the Indian Ocean island.

The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) has been lobbying the Mauritian government to lift the ban.

The MTPA said in a statement that the country’s health authorities continued to implement a wide-ranging Covid-19 response and were prioritising the rollout of booster doses for people who are already double vaccinated. The vaccination of 15- to 18-year-olds is under way.

“Sanitary protocols throughout the Mauritius hospitality industry remain at the very highest standards, ensuring that the local community and international guests are afforded maximum protection from the virus,” said Bundhun.

“Visitors can book holidays to Mauritius with a high degree of confidence that their trips will be enjoyable, safe and secure.”

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