Mauritius is providing free vaccines to long-term visa holdersAndrea Smith

The island nation of Mauritius has announced that it has expanded its COVID-19 vaccination programme to include long-term international visitors over the age of 18.

This will be good news for those availing of the renewable premium travel visa Mauritius is offering to international visitors, allowing them to spend up to 12 months there. Visitors holding the premium visa are eligible to receive their vaccinations free of charge, as well as residents of Mauritius holding a work permit, residence permit or occupational permit.

Discover Le Morne Brabant, Mauritius

Mauritius is a remote tropical island located more than 1000km off the eastern coast of Madagascar. It is known for its beaches and luxury resorts, but also offers hiking in its forested and mountainous interior and world-class diving and snorkeling offshore. Visitors can enjoy boat trips to small islets and excursions to botanical gardens and colonial plantation houses. It is a great destination for wildlife enthusiasts, and different cultures and quiet fishing villages can be found away from the resorts.

A cliff in Mauritius with a waterfall cascading down
Mauritius offers hiking in its forested and mountainous interior © Fabienne Sypowski / 500px

Approximately 1.5m people visit Mauritius each year, more than the population of the island itself. It is heavily dependent on tourism, with approximately 20% of the country’s workforce employed in the sector. “The expanded vaccination programme is part of the national campaign to continue keeping Mauritius COVID-secure and to allow the full reopening of international borders once herd immunity is reached,” says the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority.

Mauritius’ Premium Visa is renewable and it allows international visitors to stay for up to 12 months to work remotely, retire or simply enjoy a longer holiday. Further information is available here.

This article was originally written on 9 September 2020 and updated on 11 March 2021.

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