Seychelles’ Consular diplomacy – supporting our Seychellois nationals stranded abroad
In his address to the nation on Monday 27th April 2020, President Danny Faure announced Government’s plan to repatriate Seychellois patients who were stranded in India and Sri Lanka, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other Seychellois stranded in these two countries would also benefit in accordance with Public Health regulations.
Under the guidance of the Seychelles health authorities, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) worked with the Seychelles High Commissions in India and Sri Lanka, Air Seychelles as well as the resident High Commissions of the two respective sister countries for the Seychellois nationals to be able to return home after months away from their homeland. The repatriation of this group of nationals has been identified as “priority”, as it consists of many medical patients who had been undergoing treatment in India and Sri Lanka, under existing government financial assistance. A number of other patients who are self-sponsored will also be assisted.
Air Seychelles will thus be undertaking the special flight to India and Sri Lanka on Saturday 23 May 2020, to repatriate the Seychellois nationals stranded in those two countries during the COVID -19 pandemic.
This fully funded government sponsored flight will consist of 82 Seychellois nationals in Chennai, India (including 22 patients and 20 attendants) and 14 others in Sri Lanka. Apart from the tickets costing SR 10 500.00 per person, the Government is also paying for the obligatory COVID-19 tests that all the passengers have to undertake before boarding.
In providing an update on the situation, the Director of Consular Affairs, Mr. Terry Rose commented that “it is noteworthy that countries have their local laws and covid-19-related regulations that have to be respected and adhered to, as does the Seychelles Government, and DFA, with the assistance of our overseas diplomatic and consular missions, has had to liaise with the two countries and relevant parties concerned in an effort to undertake the safe repatriation and provide the required consular assistance to our nationals.”
The truncated Air Seychelles flight to India and Sri Lanka is also taking a large group of patients for overseas treatment in Sri Lanka.
The Department would like to thank all stakeholders, especially the governments of India and Sri Lanka, for their full cooperation and understanding in repatriating our Seychellois.