The cruise ship ban goes into effect immediately

Panoramic view at the capital city victoria on Seychelles island Mahé
Credit: Getty Images

The Seychelles has banned all cruise ships from its shores until 2022, according to reports.

The small island nation, which sits off the coast of East Africa in the western Indian Ocean, imposed the two-year ban over fears around the spread of COVID-19, the Seychelles Nation reported.

The cruise ship ban goes into effect immediately and will last until the end of 2021, Didier Dogley, the country’s minister for tourism, civil aviation, ports and marine, told the newspaper.

He added that the virus has had a significant impact on tourism. While only 11 confirmed cases have been recorded in the Seychelles, according to Johns Hopkins University, the islands are a popular tourist destination, attracting people from all over the world.

The Seychelles has a population of about 96,000, according to the U.S. Department of State.

"The Seychelles Ports Authority appreciates the fact that the government has made a prudent decision to mitigate the impact that COVID-19 may have in the medium term," said Ronny Brutus, the chief executive of the nation's Ports Authority, according to NPR, who cited the Seychelles News Agency.

He added, “It is to be noted that the cruise industry has been a major catalyst by which the COVID-19 has spread throughout the world.”

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The ban comes as several U.S. cruise ships have extended the suspension of operations through the summer and even into the fall. Princess Cruises canceled all Alaska sailings and remaining European and transatlantic cruises, in addition to fall cruises out of Japan on the Diamond Princess and cruises heading to Hawaii and French Polynesia on the Pacific Princess through November.

Additionally, Disney Cruise Line said it will extend the suspension of its sailings through July.

Conversely, Carnival Cruise Line said it intends to start sailing on August 1, beginning with eight ships in North America.

This Story Originally Appeared On travelandleisure