20 March 2020 – Public health emergency declared: foreign travel banned, schools closed, military reserves activated

Type of Intervention: Executive Order
Sectors Involved: Civil Defence, Education, Executive Office, Health, Immigration
Intervention Categories: Social and physical distancing measures; Adapting or closing schools; International travel measures; Legal and policy; Declaring state of emergency; Finance policy and financial aid; Financial aid to health services
Level of Jurisdiction: National
Lead People/Agency: President’s Office

Overview: Following discussions that I had with the Public Health Commissioner today, Dr Jude Gedeon, it is clear that a public health emergency exists. In such a situation, the law gives power to the Public Health Commissioner to make use of any additional resources to respond to the situation. The Public Health Commissioner will publish a notice in the Official Gazette on Monday 23 March on this subject.
Confronted with this new situation, tonight I would like to announce that Government needs to put in place further measures to stop more infected people from arriving into Seychelles and spreading the virus within our population.
First: from Monday 23 March, I am imposing a 30-day ban on all foreign travel by our citizens, except for medical emergencies as approved by the Department of Health. The legal instrument to allow for the implementation of this measure will be published on Monday 23 March.
Second: all foreign workers on a GOP and outside Seychelles today, will not be able to return to the country until further notice. This takes immediate effect.
Third: No new GOPs will be issued until further notice. This also takes immediate effect.
Fourth: all public schools and day cares on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue will remain closed until further notice. This includes all post-secondary institutions, the University of Seychelles and the Guy Morel Institute.
Fifth: as Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, I have asked military personnel who left the Defence Forces in the last 3 years to join the Reserve, in line with the existing law. This will give us further resources in these exceptional times.
Sixth: We are increasing the capacity of our quarantine and treatment facilities.
• We will receive more equipment and medicine from friendly countries.
• With the support of the World Health Organisation, we have finalised a programme to receive additional human resource support if necessary.
• In the next 3 weeks, we will have a new quarantine facility on Ile du Swet.
Seventh: I have asked all Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Government to identify human resources to follow rapid training in contact tracing, with the aim of supporting the Department of Health and increase their capacity to carry out their work.

Full details here: http://www.statehouse.gov.sc/news/4777/address-by-president-danny-faure-on-measures-to-address-the-covid-19-situation

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee
Source of Evidence or Justification: World Health Organisation, National – government, International – government
Evidence/Justification: Seychelles has entered exceptional times, they are unprecedented. They are exceptional in light of the coronavirus pandemic. They are exceptional in light of the public health emergency. They are exceptional because of the impact of this pandemic on the economy of our country. They are exceptional because of the impact on our social practices and traditions as a people. Tonight I will announce additional measures that we need to take in these exceptional times.