One of the Vanilla Islands nation, Mauritius, which already offers visitors free renewable long-term visas, is adding another perk for those wanting to settle into paradise for a while: free COVID-19 vaccinations.
The program is part of an effort to fully reopen the country’s borders. Mauritius, located in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa, is one of the world’s smallest countries by size. It boasts nearly 100 miles of white, sandy beaches, one of the world’s largest coral reefs, two UNESCO World Heritage sites, and warm water.
Like many idyllic beach destinations around the world, Mauritius relies heavily on tourism to keep its economy afloat. And like many countries, Mauritius is also courting digital nomads and retirees. The Mauritius Premium Visa allows international visitors to spend up to 12 months in the country and is renewable — something the government hopes will entice visitors to stick around.
Mauritius said it will provide all Premium Visa holders over 18 with the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine manufactured in India. To qualify for the visa, visitors must meet basic immigration requirements and generate an income from outside Mauritius. They will also need travel and health insurance, as well as a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, in addition to quarantining for 14 days at an approved facility.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Mauritius has reported fewer than 700 cases and 10 deaths, according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.