Airport Health Laboratory Moves for External Quality Assurance Scheme

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The Airport Health Laboratory (AHL) has performed more than 2200 Covid-19 tests since it started operations on 15 October 2020.
 
As at date, the AHL has detected some 7 positive cases among incoming passengers, who were promptly directed to the dedicated treatment facility. Quality assurance of tests has been ensured through regular cross-verifications with the Molecular Biology Department of the Central Health Laboratory of the Ministry of Health & Wellness of Mauritius.
 
 
The AHL is now moving for the process of enrolling in an External Quality Assurance Scheme (EQAS) with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) of Johannesburg, South Africa, which is a World Health Organisation (WHO) Designated Reference Laboratory.

Covid-19 Passenger Health Self Declaration & Locator Forms Now Online

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Incoming passengers to Mauritius are now  able to download and fill their Public Health Covid-19 Passenger Health Self-Declaration Form and Passenger Locator Form from the website of the Ministry of Health & Wellness.

This will facilitate access to the forms, which need to be downloaded and filled prior to check-in at the departure country. Duly filled forms will have to be presented to the Mauritian Health Authorities upon arrival.

With this new measure, Passengers will be able to pre-fill in the forms at their convenience, prior to taking their flights and will contribute to ease up the formalities and processing for travel amidst the pandemic.  

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New Airport Covid Laboratory Now Operational

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This new high-tech facility which is part of the special set-up for the gradual opening of borders is now operational and is expected to start testing incoming passengers as from Thursday 15 October 2020.

As part of the local protocol in place since the 01 October 2020, nasopharyngeal swabs are effected on all incoming passengers. These were previously sent to the national testing centre in Candos. Henceforth, the swabs will be tested at the airport laboratory itself and it is envisaged that results will be available after a few hours only. This enhancement will allow more rapid testing and confirmation of the status of passengers.

Since the gradual reopening of borders beginning of October 2020, more than 1350 passengers have flown into Mauritius and only 11 were tested Covid-19 positive. This is despite the requirement for all intending passengers to produce a negative PCR test result (effected less than 7 days) prior to embarkation. 

As at date, some 35 imported active cases are being treated in the specialised medical centres. Mauritius remains Covid- safe with respect to the absence of local cases in the community.

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Mauritius Airport becomes First in Africa to receive ACI Airport Health Accreditation

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SSR International Airport has just received the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) from the Airports Council International (ACI). Our airport thus becomes the first in the Africa region to receive this international accreditation.

It is amidst the Covid-19 pandemic recovery efforts that ACI, with the support of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), developed and launched the AHA programme around end of July 2020. The accreditation aims at enabling airports worldwide to ensure that their sanitary protocols are in line with international standards and also to demonstrate to passengers and other airport stakeholders that health and safety is a priority in the presence circumstances. Hence, the AHA establishes a detailed and measurable framework for assessing airport sanitary protocols.

Our admission to the ACI AHA therefore confirms that the Airport Sanitary Protocol at SSRIA meets the relevant international exigencies.

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Reopening of Borders- First Flight Arrives in Mauritius

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Since 01 October 2020, Mauritius has entered into Phase 2 of the gradual reopening of its borders. The first incoming flight, an Emirates EK 703 from Dubai landed at SSR International Airport on Saturday 02 October at about 15H45, with some 306 passengers. 

 

All passengers have undergone appropriate health screening and have been channeled to designated hotels, which serve as quarantine centres for the 14-day in-room isolation, as prescribed by the authorities. 

As at date, an encouraging number of Mauritians, Residence and Work Permit holders as well as visitors/ tourists, have completed their bookings on the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority website in order travel to Mauritius within the coming days.

The gradual re-opening of the Mauritian borders is part of the strategy of Government to ease out travel restrictions, while ensuring that the island remains covid-safe. It must be highlighted that there have been no local Covid-19 cases in the country for the past five months.  

Gradual Opening of Mauritian Borders as from 01 October 2020

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Last updated 29 September 2020

The Government of Mauritius has announced an easing of travel restrictions and a gradual opening of the Mauritian borders as from the beginning of October. Prior to this date, the authorities have accentuated the efforts towards repatriating Mauritian nationals stranded abroad, known as Phase 1. It is expected that some 9000 Mauritians will be brought back to the island during this process.

As from 1st of October 2020, entry to Mauritians will also be opened to non-Mauritians possessing valid residence and occupation permits, as well as tourists. Known as Phase 2, all incoming passengers will however be subject to a 14-day in-room quarantine in designated centres. Intending passengers should also present a negative PCR test result prior to embarkation and will undergo additional PCR tests upon their arrival and during the mandatory quarantine period.

As at date, Mauritius remains Covid-safe, with the absence of any local cases.  

Additional information is available on the following websites:

Quarantine Packages: Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority

Air Ticket: Air Mauritius & Emirates 

Important Information for Passengers travelling to Mauritius

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In line with the gradual reopening of Mauritian borders as from 01 October 2020, all prospective passengers travelling to Mauritius, as from that date, shall possess the following:

  • A certificate of a negative PCR test administered not more than 7 days prior to the date of embarkation
  • A valid air ticket to Mauritius
  • A proof of purchase of a travel package including accommodation, on full board basis, at a designated hotel for a mandatory 14-day in-room quarantine

 Please consult the Air Mauritius website for additional details on available flights.

Upon arrival in Mauritius

A 14-day in-room quarantine will be mandatory in a hotel approved by the Mauritian authorities. Quarantine accommodation packages are available online for passengers.

Quarantine Packages- MTPA

All incoming passenger will have to undergo PCR tests on day of arrival, on day 7 and on day 14 following their arrival. In case a PCR test reveals that a person is COVID-19 positive, he/she shall be transferred to a public medical institution for treatment.

Photo Courtesy: www.freepik.com/photos/business- Business photo created by 4045 

Mauritius Covid Safe since April 2020

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Mauritius has registered no Covid-19 cases in the Community since 26 April 2020. 

After undergoing a complete lockdown from 19 March to 01 June 2020, a large segment of the economic activities as well as schooling have since then resumed. 

To date, the countries borders remains closed, while an adequate sanitary protocol is being put in place in view of a future phased reopening. This is being developed with due consideration to guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and international best practices. The objective is to put in place an appropriate control mechanism that would prevent the re-entry of the virus in the country and its spread among the community.

To that effect, among the numerous measures being implemented, an Airport Covid-19 Laboratory is being set up to test all incoming passengers tos ensure that they are Covid free. 

At the level of the Passenger Terminal, all necessary precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of passengers and airport personnel upon the resumption of international commercial traffic. Particular efforts are also dedicated to the cleaning and disinfection of regular touchpoints and other sensitive surfaces in the building.

For now, domestic flights to the island of Rodrigues have restarted since July 2020.   

Currently, the pre-conditions for repatriated Mauritians and residents travelling back to the country, include systematic screening at source on departure and arrival, with embarking passengers undertaking a COVID-19 PCR test which is required to be negative and valid for 5-7 days prior to departure. 

The stance of the Government of Mauritius with regard to the reopening of borders is  that once all relevant sanitary protocols are finalised and the laboratory is operational, consideration would be given to the appropriate time for the reopening of our borders and operation of scheduled commercial flights. The lifting of border restrictions in other countries will also have to be taken into consideration.