Seychelles’ airport screening going digital, upgrading data collection, risk analysis
Travellers coming to Seychelles will soon be able to submit their travel documents online, facilitating the collection of data and risk analysis during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The upgrade is being made possible through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the island nation and Travizory Border Security.
Travizory is a Swiss-based company that helps governments digitalise their border entry systems. Its Health Travel Authorization system captures identity and health information directly from the traveller, performing real-time risk assessment and determining the travel eligibility of an individual.
“Governments have a need for security and right now that might be because of COVID-19. Our system enables governments to obtain information ahead of a person’s travel, to which artificial intelligence is applied to determine the risk the person brings,” said the company’s chief executive, Renaud Irminger.
Through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, Travizory will assist Seychelles in continuing the safe operation of the island nation’s borders to international travels.
Seychelles’ government will not be paying any fee for this system, but all travellers coming to the island nation will have to pay a fee of $50 or $150 when submitting their documents online. The $150 fee will apply only for emergency and late submissions.
The principal secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine, Alan Renaud told SNA that Seychelles has been looking into border security even before COVID-19, however, the outbreak of the pandemic sped up the process.
“When Seychelles’ task force was looking at how to reopen the borders and we had identified that we had to have passengers send in information where the Public Health Authority was able to screen passengers. We were trying to do this in house and when Travizory showed us their updated version that included that, we realised that they had solved the problem that we were actually trying to do,” said Renaud.
At the moment, a traveller to Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – needs to submit a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours prior to travelling and fill out a form, providing flights and accommodation details, among others, all of which need to be sent to email@example.com.
“The issue with the way that we are doing things at the moment is its very manual. Travellers have a lot of forms to fill and behind the scenes, there is a team at the Public Health Authority that has to manually go through each application. This can be done when you have about 50 passengers on a flight, but when we start seeing tourism pick up, it will suddenly become very unmanageable,” said Renaud.
With the launch of the online service, people coming into Seychelles will no longer need to manually fill the forms and send documents to the health authority. Instead, they will need to upload required documents, a photo and fill in the questionnaire.
The first pool will group people whose information looks good. Upon arrival in Seychelles, these people will be fast-tracked. The second group will fall under ‘question on arrival’. A person who falls in this category will have to provide more information to immigration. The third group will be ‘test on arrival’.
“Everyone will need to do their test but due to the circumstance, we really need to be safe so some people will be flagged for testing,” explained Irminger.
The fourth category will be ‘quarantine upon arrival’ and this will be the case for Seychellois from high-risk countries. At the moment, Seychellois who come from a not permitted country is allowed to enter but on arrival, they will need to go a managed facility to be quarantined.