Seychelles police to spot-fine people flouting COVID-19 containment measures

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People flouting COVID-19 containment measures in Seychelles will be spot-fined by the country’s police as part of measures introduced by the government in efforts to avoid further spread of the virus and to stop the new Omicron strain from entering and spreading in the archipelago.

The Omicron strain, which has already been reported in South Africa and Botswana, has sparked concerns in Africa and beyond, with fears that it could be deadlier than other strains.

In a meeting of the Platinum Committee of the national COVID response chaired by President Wavel Ramkalawan, the government noted that Seychelles had not recorded a case of the new COVID-19 variant, but resolved that heightening measures was necessary to maintain this.

“Effective immediately people assembling illegally in car parks or around places of entertainment will be now be spot-fined by the police. The police will not tolerate such gatherings. In addition, places of entertainment that do not follow their SOPs will be closed down,” a statement by the presidency said.

Other measures introduced include the closing of grocery stores by 8 p.m. as from 1st December.

The presidency noted that as Christmas approaches, shops will close by 9 p.m. to prevent congestions in these stores.

“The country cannot afford another surge and other crippling effects on our economic activities. This is what will unavoidably happen if we allow the number of new COVID cases to rise. Therefore, we must take all measures necessary to prevent a new economic downturn,” said President Ramkalawan.