Mauritius has launched its Covid-19 vaccination programme giving priority to frontline workers including health care professionals, employees of the tourism industry.

Senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions are also among those to get the jab.

Some 50,000 front liners are being considered for the vaccination campaign, with 50 per cent of them being in the tourism sector.

The government said objective remains the restart of the tourism sector in the safest conditions possible.

Strict quarantine measures and thorough testing protocols have been in place since the outbreak with the hotel industry playing a key role in offering accommodation for confinements.

There has been little to no disruption of social life in Mauritius since June with practically no known cases of community transmission.

As a result, the country has seen an increase in demand from visitors looking to relocate to a Covid-safe environment for work, leisure or retirement.

The Premium Visa has been introduced for this purpose and allows for extended visits of 12 months with an option for further extensions. 

Entry restrictions and quarantine requirements are expected to be eased progressively based on the evolution of the pandemic and upon visitors having achieved immunity.

The ultimate objective of the vaccination campaign is to inoculate 60 per cent of the population of 1.3 million to achieve herd immunity.

The first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India, arrived from Mumbai on Friday as a donation from the government of India.

Doses required to complete the vaccination campaign are expected from Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer with an initial consignment approved through the COVAX facility.