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Coronavirus - Implications of the second lockdown and overview of measures - Mauritius

  • Mauritius
  • Coronavirus
  • Coronavirus - Country overview


On 9 March 2021, the Government of Mauritius took the executive decision to lockdown the country for the second time, following last year’s episode, for a period of 14 days, with effect from 6 a.m. on 10 March 2021 to 25 March 2021 at 8 p.m. (the Lockdown Period) due to the increase in Covid-19 cases.

With our experience from the previous lockdown, the Government has quickly come up with measures to ensure curtail the spread of the virus while ensuring the continued functioning of essential services.

Lockdown: Implications and exceptions in Mauritius 

By virtue of the Temporary Restrictions of Movement Order (the Order) made by the Mauritian Prime Minister under section 3 of the Quarantine Act 2020, it has been ordered that no person, other than in the Island of Rodrigues, the Island of Agaléga and the Chagos Archipelago, shall remain outdoor in Mauritius as from 10 March 2021 at 6 a.m. until 25 March 2021 at 8 p.m.

Anyone found to be in breach of the Order may be made liable to a fine not exceeding MUR 500,000 and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, upon conviction.


Supplementing the Order, a Communiqué dated 9 March 2021 (the Communiqué) was further issued, both of which provide for the continuation of some services deemed essential and these concern:-

  • Employees of the public and private sector organisations providing essential services;
  • Employees of the Disciplined force;
  • A Judge or Magistrate for the purpose of attending court (in respect of minimum judicial services as the chief Justice deems essential), and employees of Courts as may be designated by the Chief Justice;

Individuals who, in the exercise of their professional occupations, are exempted from having to remain indoors and the exhaustive list concerns:

  • A barrister or attorney for the purpose of attending a police station, place of detention or court;
  • A medical practitioner for the purpose of attending a hospital, private medical institution or patient in need of urgent care;
  • A pharmacist and his employees for the purpose of attending their place of work;
  • Employees of quarantine facilities, petrol service stations, port and airport and related businesses, cleaning and scavenging services and security services.

Red Zone

On 12 March 2021, the Deputy Commissioner of the Mauritius Police Force underpinned that Mauritius is currently facing an extreme situation due to the spread of the Covid-19 Pandemic which urges the authorities to seal the constituencies 15,16 and 17 in Mauritius (the Red Zone). The implication of the Red Zone are such that there is a strict restriction of movement controlled by police force in places found in these constituencies. On 19 March 2021, the village of Canot, found on the West of the Island, was further decreed a Red Zone with immediate effect due to an upsurge of positive cases noted in that region.

Work Access Permit (WAP) 

The public has been informed that with a view of ensuring that the national lockdown serves its purpose of preventing the spread of the virus, only holders of a WAP will be allowed to remain outdoors and to travel to their place of work (as mentioned on the permit) and back. The application for the WAP is to be made on the besafemoris website.

Breeders, farmers and fishermen are exempted from applying for a WAP and can travel to their base of operations with their respective registration card.

Covid-19 vaccination update 

14 Vaccination Centres and private clinics have been made available for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme apart from hospitals and Area Health Centres. This Vaccination Programme has as objective to get front liners such as the police, medical staffs, inspectors from the Ministry of Commerce and Consumer Protection, and scavengers to be vaccinated in priority. To this list of priority is also added employees working in the private sector, who are in contact with members of the public on a regular basis.

It is to be noted that as at 20 March 2021, around 92,000 persons had already been vaccinated and more than 8,000 persons are being vaccinated daily in vaccination centres and private clinics.

Government Wage Assistance Scheme (GWAS) and Self-Employed Assistance Scheme (SEAS)

Due to the prevailing situation, the Government has decided to extend the existing Government Wage Assistance Scheme (GWAS) & Self-Employed Assistance Scheme (SEAS) for the month of March 2021.


The financial assistance under GWAS and SEAS will continue to be provided in full to operators in the tourism industry in Mauritius and Rodrigues for the month of March 2021. A comprehensive list of the businesses concerned has been published on Mauritius Revenue Authority 

In respect of the SEAS for sectors other than tourism, a list of individuals not eligible has also been published.

Applicants for the SEAS must be self-employed, of Mauritian Nationality, above 18 years of age and have been economically active for the last 3 months


Whilst employees who hold a WAP can be requested by their employers to leave their homes and come to work, for the remaining employees there are two options open to them:

(a) For those employees who are able to work from home, they may be requested to do so by their employer in accordance with Section 17A of the Workers’ Rights Act 2019 (WRA 2019) [as amended by the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 (COVID-19 Act 2020)]. The terms and conditions of employment specified in the Second Schedule of the First Schedule of the Workers’ Rights (Working from Home) Regulations 2020 shall govern the rights and obligations of the homeworker and the employer.

(b) For those employees who are unable to work from home, it is a situation whereby their employers are unable to provide them work. In that respect, section 32(1) (a)(i) of the WRA 2019 provides that where the employer is unable to provide work to a worker, the employer shall still have to pay a full day’s remuneration.

See the various memos below from the Mauritius briefings setting out the (i) national measures taken as from 9 March 2021 by the Government since the first cases of Covid-19 were detected in Mauritius, including the Vaccination Programme Updates, (ii) financial measures put in place by the Government and (iii) employment law considerations particularly during the present lockdown period.

Implications of the lockdown in Mauritius - Memo 1

Implications of the lockdown in Mauritius - Memo 2

Implications of the lockdown in Mauritius - Memo 3 

The above does not constitute legal advice, but rather recommendations of general application which may change depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Independent legal advice should be obtained before implementing any measure which may impact upon rights and obligations.