Mauritius reported its first cases on March 18, 2020. The authorities have implemented a range of containment measures since the outbreak, including bans on public gatherings, followed by a curfew order, closing borders, discontinuing public transportation, closing schools, universities, shopping malls and attraction sites, suspending employee attendance at government and private workplaces (except for essential staff), and increasing testing. The economy has been severely affected by the crisis, with tourism coming to a halt and slowing of activity in other sectors.There had been virtually no cases of domestic transmission from late April 2020until early March 2021, when a second outbreak led to a new lockdown.
Reopening of the economy. On April 27, 2020, mass testing for antigens was initiated. With no new cases being recorded for almost 3 weeks and no active cases since May 11, 2020, a strategic phased resumption of economic activities began on May 15, 2020. The nationwide curfew ended on May 30, 2020. On Aug 31, 2020, it was announced that the borders would be reopened in three phases: the first phase focusing on repatriation of Mauritians from abroad; the second phase from October 1, 2020, with travel to and from certain destinations; and the third phase involving full border reopening with date to be determined in light of the evolution of the pandemic. The border has been reopened on October 1, 2020, however as all arriving passengers are required to quarantine for two weeks, there have been few travelers as a result. In late October 2020, Mauritius announced that it was launching a new, one-year visa (Premium Travel Visa), with an option for further extensions, to encourage long stays and help the tourism sector. The visa applies to both tourists and remote workers. On January 26, 2021, Mauritius launched its Covid-19 vaccination campaign, which is expected to enable Mauritius to review the conditions of entry of passengers to the country by mid-2021 and allow the tourism to pick up. Following a new spell of domestic transmission after almost a year, a lockdown was re-imposed on March 11, 2021 with phased reopening having started on April 1. Partial lockdown remained in place until end of the month, when only some specific economic activities could operate under strict sanitary conditions. Public gatherings remained prohibited and people are required to wear face masks outside their residences. Non-essential businesses remained closed, including cinemas, leisure parks, amusement centers, gaming houses, casinos, sports complexes, social halls, youth centers, wedding halls, market fairs, beaches, national parks, and nature reserves. In May, the second phase of reopening started, whereby more activities are allowed. Passengers are still not allowed to enter or transit.