Although much of the world remains shuttered due to Covid-19, luxury travelers itching to go beyond the Caribbean and Mexico have a slowly growing number of options in the Indian Ocean.
The Seychelles last week said it will open to all travelers with a negative Covid-19 test beginning March 25, expanding the ultraluxe beach choices beyond the Maldives and Dubai for those travelers ready to make long-haul trips.
The Seychelles had been open only to vaccinated travelers while it implemented an early and aggressive vaccination campaign of its own residents.
In announcing the further opening of borders, the minister for foreign affairs and tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, said that effort has been “quite successful.”
“The government has done everything in its power to make sure that the population is protected,” he said in a statement. “We have now arrived at the point where opening our borders further is the next step to allow for our economic recovery. The measures being announced reflect broadly the recommendation of our tourism partners and have been done in full consultation with and the endorsement of our health authorities.”
• Related: Going beyond the beaches in Seychelles
Following the announcement from the Seychelles, Emirates this week said it is increasing flights to both the Maldives and the Seychelles from Dubai ahead of the Easter break.
Starting March 28, the airline will offer 28 weekly flights to Male and seven weekly flights to Mahe.
The Maldives, Dubai and select countries in Africa have been among the few global destinations open to Americans since the pandemic shut down global travel a year ago.
In a recent interview, Catherine Heald, CEO of the Remote Lands, said Dubai and the Maldives have basically been the only countries her company has sold for near-term travel.
“A lot of people are going there. If you go to the Maldives you can get a pool villa and stay there and not interact with anybody. So there is a lot of that.”