Current status and travel restrictions
Since the 1st of October, the Mauritian government has engaged with the second phase of reopening its borders. Several travel measures have been implemented to protect its citizens in the event of the world pandemic, the Covid-19 during which travel to and from certain destinations will be allowed. Those interested will be able to book their plane tickets and make their hotel reservations online. Priority will be given to Mauritian nationals, those holding a residence permit, those employed in Mauritius and other visitors wishing to travel to Mauritius for a period longer than 14 days. In addition, the Premium Travel Visa was also recently added where non-Mauritians could come to the island for a period of one year and renewable as tourist, retiree or professional willing to come with his/her family and carry out his business or work remotely from Mauritius.
To apply for the Premium Travel Visa see link below.
The most recent press release indicates that the quarantine measures will remain in force until mid-January 2021 based upon the evolution of the Covid-19. The activation of the third phase, which is the complete reopening of the country’s borders will be subject, for instance, on the betterment or not of the pandemic situation worldwide.
Tips for booking your Quarantine stay
My life partner and I were in Austria and we were planning to come back to Mauritius. As mentioned above, for everyone who wishes to come to Mauritius has to undergo a mandatory 14 days quarantine in a hotel with a 3 meal plan already booked prior to his/her arrival.
The first thing to do is to go on the MTPA online reservation platform and book a quarantine hotel stay. See link https://booking.mymauritius.travel/
You have the choice to select among a 3-star, a 4-star and a 5-star hotel based on your port of embarkation. You can come to Mauritius via Paris, Dubai, Reunion island or Mumbai for now on the predefined travel dates from each of the destinations above. Once you find your suitable date to travel, click on it and it will generate a choice of hotels to do your quarantine. Note that the 3-star hotels’ reservation fill up very fast, so do not wait too long to book it else you will have to change for a later date. This is what happened to us and we had to reschedule our travel date to Mauritius as our first choice hotel was fully booked within 2 days.
You can book a quarantine room for one person, two people or even a family. For a 3-star hotel, the cost per person is Rs 35,000 which is also the minimum cost (rates include 14-night stay, 3 meals plan and the airport transfer to your hotel) and when you book for two people you will get a package offer of Rs 59,500.
Some hotel rooms on the online booking platform indicate how many people it can accommodate so pay attention if you are travelling accompanied to enjoy the discounted rate.
Note: Non-Mauritian citizens will have an additional fee of Rs13,500 for the three PCR test which will be conducted over the quarantine.
Which documents will you need to have in hands?
The next step after you booked your hotel stay and your flight ticket is to get yourself a PCR test. It is mandatory to present a negative Covid-19 test result to embark on a flight to Mauritius. This can be done 3-5 days (make sure to check the latest updates on the airline’s website as the time frame might be different from country to country and also if you are travelling with a layover for example in Dubai International Airport as different regulations might apply for your port of embarkment) prior to your departure. Make sure you have your negative test result and your quarantine hotel booking confirmation both printed and ready to show upon several checkpoints of your journey.
Onboard the crew will hand out the Public Health Covid-19 Passenger Health Self-Declaration Form which can also be downloaded on the MTPA online reservation platform and filled in advance of your flight.
Once you have your negative result, keep taking the maximum safety measure on the days until you travel because you will be tested again upon your arrival, on the 7th and 14th day in Mauritius. You would not want to be tested positive and taken to the ENT hospital would you?! 🙂
The ultimate packing checklist for a smooth quarantine.
Well, packing for a 14-day quarantine stay will be a little different compared to your usual holidays packing because you will not be allowed to leave your hotel room. Some hotels won’t allow anything to be dropped for you by friends, family members etc. So make sure you have all the essentials packed.
Another important note, before booking your stay, send an email or make a call at the hotel and ask if it is allowed to have some personal items delivered to you as it is not applicable to all hotels. I will come back later on which items are allowed to get in.
Let’s get back to the packing checklist.
1. Following documents you should have ready to show in printed form as you will be asked to show them a LOT of times:
- Negative PCR test
- Quarantine hotel reservation
2. Personal Care:
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Shower gel
- Body cream
- Feminine products
- Mixed dried fruits and nuts
- Cereal bars
*in country’s with a lockdown situation, note that the shops and restaurants are closed at the airport. Access to food will be very limited. Rather have something with you to eat and be aware that you might have to spend 9-11 hours of a layover before your next connecting flight to Mauritius due to a reduced flight schedule of all airlines. You will be hungry, so be ready to pack some food.
4. Comfort item:
- Flat shoes or slippers
- Comfortable clothes
- Mosquito spray
- Portable games
- Books and magazines
- Laptop/ tablet
- Workout equipment
- Amazon fire stick/apple tv
*pack some board games like cards, dominos, scrabble, puzzles, sudoku, crosswords and other brain games. It will help to kill the time and still make your brain work.
On the plane and at the Airport
Once onboard still keep wearing your face mask and use your hand sanitizer regularly. The IATA (International Air Transport Association) states that the risk on an aircraft is lower than in many confined spaces because modern aeroplanes have cabin air filtration systems equipped with HEPA filters, which are also used to keep the air clean in hospital operating rooms and industrial clean rooms. These filters change the complete cabin air every 2-3 mins and use filters which are effective at capturing greater than 99 per cent of the airborne microbes in the filtered air. Still, you are advised to change your face mask 3-4 times during a 12-hour flight to keep the risk at an absolute minimum.
You still will be served your meals and drinks, get your pillow, blanket and your headset as usual. We flew via Emirates and a sanitizer kit was given to us containing gloves, face masks and hand sanitizers.
Once you leave the aircraft there will be a temperature check and right after you are going through the immigration process. You will also have your first PCR test right at the airport before collecting your bags. Always keep your documents in ready to show. Once you have collected your bags you have to queue up in line for your designated bus/coach which will take you to your quarantine hotel.
Note: The duty-free shop in Mauritius is closed as well as the currency exchange stands.
Now here comes the waiting game. How patient are you?
The buses will not leave the airport until the last passenger has gone through all the mentioned above. So there is no reason to try and overtake people in line or be pushy because if you get on the bus first, you will have about a 1 hour of the waiting game before the bus actually gets going accompanied by some police bikes to open the way to the hotel.
At your quarantine hotel
Here again, is another patience test. So just relax, cooperate, let the check-in process run smoothly and you will be soon allocated to your room. Still keep your distance and wear your mask at all times to protect yourself and the hotel staffs.
We chose the Sealife Resort & Spa in Calodyne, a 3-star hotel in the North of Mauritius. I have never been there before, besides watching some photos on booking sites and social media which gave me a fair overview of the hotel and the rooms.
They provide toothpaste and toothbrushes and some soaps, a kettle, plastic trash bags, washing powder, a mop, a broom and some cleaning products. Note that during these 14 nights no one will be allowed to enter your room, you will be in charge of keeping your living space clean for your own health and comfort.
The photo below is the view from our balcony
Meals will be served as follow:
- Breakfast will be between 08h00 and 8h45
- Lunch will be between 12h00 and 12h45
- Tea time will be between 15h00 and 15h30
- Dinner will be between 17h30 and 18h30
A menu will be placed in your meal tray and you can make your choice out of 3 different meal options. Your meal tray will be placed on the table outside your room and will be picked up later. All of your meals will be served in carton boxes. You can ask the staff for a plate and a set of cutlery but note that your plate will not be picked up. You will have to clean it yourself and use it for every meal. This is what we did, serving our meals in a plate made it look more appealing and appetizing.
See the pictures below
You will have 3 options for every meal to choose from; two non-vegetarian and one vegetarian option and they also come in a very generous portion. Note, if you have any food allergies or restriction please let the administration know prior to your arrival so that they can smoothly prepare your stay with them.
A cleaning kit (plastic bin, washing powder, a mop, a broom and some cleaning products) will be provided to you as the hotel will not provide housekeeping services during your stay. Clearance of the plastic bin and dirty linen (bedsheet, pillow covers and towels) in their respective bag will be changed every 4 days. All you have to do is to place all the dirty lines, towel and bin outside on the room on the terrace/balcony and fresh towels will be replaced.
Daily Temperature check
Twice a day, a medical health assistant will come and record your temperature. One in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
What are you allowed to be delivered to your room from outside?
At Sealife Resort & Spa it is permitted to receive deliveries from outside, but, there are some restrictions to it. No cooked/processed food is allowed, meaning you will not enjoy your favourite dish from your mother’s hands yet. 🙂 be patient!
So I think it will be easier to just share which items are forbidden. They are; cooked food, cigarettes and alcohol, fresh fruits, and canned products.
Deliveries can be done every day from 12h00 to 15h00 at the hotel main gate. The basket of goods will be reviewed by some people from the Ministry of Health before being handed over to you.
If you do not have anybody to deliver, it is not a problem. You can still order online if ever you might need anything from these online grocery stores.
Note: Some hotels do not allow any kind of delivery. However, please check upfront with your quarantine hotel if deliveries are possible.
Wifi at the hotel
Well, well, let’s say it like this. There are some good and some bad days, where the internet connection is really slow, nearly inexistent.
There are about 100 people trying to stay connected. It was a huge problem for work so what I did was I bought an internet package on my local sim card and I hotspot our other devices for work.
My personal quarantine experience
It is our 7th day in quarantine and so far so good and we also had our second PCR test done early morning. We are having a really great time, setting up a daily routine and a schedule of things to do. After our work we have a workout session on the balcony, we play board games in the afternoon and watch a Netflix documentary before bed. We really haven’t felt bored at all, but I guess being two in quarantine make it easier.
Having a pleasant quarantine comes with a positive mindset. Take this break to seize the opportunity to do things you usually do not have time for. Read a book, start meditating or do yoga, be creative… Keep an eye on your mood to avoid feeling uneasy or distressed. Stay in touch with your family and friends by calling them regularly.
Also do not forget to have fun! All-time board games never go out of fashion! Trivial Pursuits, Monopoly, Pictionary, card games, domino, puzzles, sudoku,… Arts and crafts are a guaranteed success too.
And just like this, you will quarantine experience will be more enjoyable.
So here it is. I hope I have cleared up most of your doubts and confusions concerning the quarantine in Mauritius. If you still have some questions please write in the comment section below and if this blog article has been helpful to you also drop a word in the comment box.
Please feel free to share with your friends, family and colleagues who will be travelling to Mauritius soon.
For those coming in quarantine and flying soon, I wish you all a safe flight, stay safe and healthy. Remember to have a positive attitude and everything will go well.
xx Katia xx