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Which tropical island has just opened 14 ‘resort bubbles’ for vaccinated travellers?

The stunning island of Mauritius has just reopened to international travellers after being closed for 16 months due to COVID-19.
The stunning island of Mauritius has just reopened to international travellers after being closed for 16 months due to COVID-19.   -   Copyright  Unsplash
By Rosie Frost

Mauritius has just reopened its borders to international travellers after being closed for the past 16 months.

Vaccinated guests can opt to stay at 14 ‘resort bubbles’ where they will be allowed to use facilities including the pool and explore the beaches on offer. These hotels are already listed on the Mauritius Tourism website for visitors to choose from when they book their stay.

Travellers won’t be able to leave the resort as even vaccinated guests will have to remain in these bubbles for a 14-day quarantine period. Those staying longer than two weeks will be able to explore the rest of the island after negative PCR tests.

“Mauritius is delighted to be welcoming international visitors into our safe and secure environment on the island,” says Hon. Steven Obeegadoo, Deputy Prime Minister of Mauritius and Minister of Tourism.

Visitors to Mauritius must undergo a PCR test between five and seven days before departure and a negative result is required to enter the island. Vaccinated travellers will also have to have a PCR test on arrival at the airport, on day seven and then 14 of their holiday.

Unvaccinated guests will still have to book a 14-day stay at an official quarantine hotel where meals will be delivered to their room.

Mauritius’ accelerated vaccination programme

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry reportedly made up 24 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employed nearly a quarter of all residents. As well as numerous restaurants and bars, the island destination is well known for its beaches, turquoise waters and coral reefs.

Without visitors, the Mauritian economy shrunk by 15 per cent in the last financial year meaning the country is keen for tourism to return.

The decision to partially reopen its borders came after a successful acceleration of the country’s vaccination programme. During the rollout, tourism workers and hotel staff were classed as frontline workers and prioritised along with their immediate households.

In June of this year, Finance Minister Renganaden Padayachy said that Mauritius was aiming to welcome 650,000 visitors over the next 12 months. But, with a full reopening not planned until the 1st of October, the island’s tourism industry will have to wait a little while longer to fully bounce back.