Mauritius adopts slow return to normal post-lockdown

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Covid19

The number of active local cases in Mauritius stands at 407 as of April 1, 2021, and 56 patients have been discharged. Two more COVID-19 related deaths have been registered. The coronavirus has brought the Mauritius death toll to 12 since the outbreak of the pandemic on the island.

Meanwhile, government has eased lockdown restrictions with some economic activities reopening from April 1, 2021. However, the Temporary Restriction of Movement Order has been extended to April 30, 2021.

That means that certain businesses may reopen and employees with work access permits (WAPs) may return to their place of work. Some 10 782 WAPs have already been delivered, catering for around 220 000 employees in the public and private sector. More will be distributed in due course.

Citizens are required to adhere to the required sanitary protocols, which include use of hand sanitizers, wearing of masks that cover mouth and nose when away from home, and social distancing. It is recommended that elderly people stay at home.

Open

From Monday to Saturday, islanders can access banks, bakeries, shopping malls, supermarkets, stores, hairdressing salons, medical and paramedical services in line with the usual alphabetical system. However, this alphabetical system does not apply to filling stations and pharmacies. What’s more, these are open seven days a week.

Closed

Access is not permitted to beauty salons, community centres, village halls, Citizens’ Advice Bureaus, food courts, cinemas, theatres, casinos, leisure parks, amusement centres, gaming houses, gyms, sports complexes, wedding halls, bars, nightclubs, market fairs, auctions, beaches, national parks and nature reserves.

Sector activities

Public transport can restart, but buses will not operate in the Red Zone. Note that the number of passengers will be limited on the metro. Transport for scholars to and from exam venues will continue.

Courts will resume activities at their discretion but are closed to the public.

Officers of the Civil Service will operate on a roster basis.

Domestic workers with work access permits may return to work.

Sport

No outdoor sports are allowed.

Gatherings

Only 10 people may attend weddings and funerals. Religious services may not be held.

Eateries

Restaurants and fast-food outlets may sell takeaways and provide a home delivery service.

Schools

Exams are underway at public schools. Private schools are closed but offer distance education.

Banned

Concerts, sports competitions and socio-cultural activities are not allowed.

Travel

Employees with WAPs may travel to and from their place of work. Those WAPs already issued are still valid.

Travel by consumers is permitted. Windows on public transport vehicles must be open.

Movement in and out of the red zone will be restricted to frontliners (medical staff and police officers) on duty. They require special permits for this.

Borders

No airline passengers will be allowed entry into Mauritius until April 15, 2021. Departing passengers will be allowed to board authorized flights, if any.

Flights scheduled from April 16, 2021 to May 31, 2021 are tentative and subject to cancellation due to prevailing sanitary conditions. However, exceptional flights may still be scheduled.

All prospective passengers (including children and infants) travelling to Mauritius must have:

a certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered between five and seven days prior to the date of boarding at the last point of embarkation;

a valid air ticket to Mauritius; and proof of purchase of a travel package including accommodation, on a full-board basis, at a designated hotel for a mandatory 14-day in-room quarantine.

Meanwhile, 117,323 people have been vaccinated. A threshold of 700,000 must be reached to achieve herd immunity. Vaccination is free for all Mauritians and visitors in possession of the Premium Visa.

The phased easing of travel restrictions is expected from the end of June 2021.

Fines

The police will monitor compliance with these regulations and fine those who do not obey the law. To date, 2 674 people have been fined for not wearing facemasks and 7 127 have been fined for breach of the Temporary Restriction of Movement Order.

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