Victoria, Mahé (Seychelles) – March 17, 2020 (visitseychelles.org) – Reference is made to our call to the Government of Seychelles for an open dialogue between the politicians, our Head of State and the relevant authorities and stakeholders, to discuss and agree upon immediate affirmative action moving forward as our vulnerable Nation grapples with COVID-19.
Our call has thus far gone unanswered and unacknowledged by the other politicians, with our Head of State continuing to operate in isolation and in the shadows. The fear and anxiety being felt by the public is escalating steadily, with many businesses, as well as private and Governmental bodies, taking matters into their own hands and closing their doors for two weeks. Teachers on Praslin today reacted to the opening of the schools, while educational institutions around Mahé have closed their doors in order to promote social distancing.
Different countries reliant upon tourism have taken drastic measures to preserve and safeguard their citizens by closing their borders, including Mauritius, our sister island. Meanwhile, Seychelles continues to receive visitors daily from Europe, which is now the epicentre of the coronavirus. Seychelles must now move to curtail tourism arrivals from coronavirus-infected areas while simultaneously working to keep businesses afloat and continue providing employment for the people of Seychelles.
We call on the National Assembly to urgently develop austerity measures, in consultation with the Seychelles Tourism Board, that will ensure businesses are kept alive and Seychellois employees do not lose their jobs. The tourism industry is encouraged to offer a re-booking option, if they are unwilling to offer a refund, to clients who booked their accommodation or excursion packages prior to the pandemic.
While the Country is feeling the mounting pressures associated with the virus reaching our shores and infiltrating society, the only constructive way forward is to strive for unity. Unity is our strength, division is our weakness. Our Government has a duty to prioritize the health and security of its People. It must also protect the public from the economic impact of this global health crisis; family-operated businesses in our tourism-reliant country will need support to weather the crisis.