Includes information on business customs, travel advisory, visa requirements, and other aspects of international travel.
Business customs are like those in the United States and Europe. For men, normal business wear is suit and tie. The coastal areas are warmer than the central plateau region year-round. During the cooler months – June through September – an additional layer may be needed if traveling in the center of the country. Humidity can be quite high during summer – November through April – especially in the capital city and the coastal areas. Lunches and cocktail receptions are common business functions.
For the latest travel advisory on Mauritius, please click here.
Visas are not required for U.S. citizens, but travelers must have an onward or return ticket. Yellow fever vaccination is required for entry if arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. As of July 1, 2022, COVID-19 testing is no longer required for travel to Mauritius and unvaccinated travelers are not required to self-isolate.
Mauritians traveling to the United States require visas. Visa applicants should go to the following links:
• U.S. Embassy Port Louis Consular Section
U.S. Companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States are advised that security evaluations are handled via an interagency process. Visa applicants should go to the following link(s): State Department Visa Website.
The currency in Mauritius is the Mauritian rupee – Rs or MUR.
1 rupee = 100 cents
The central bank - Bank of Mauritius - website provides consolidated indicative exchange rates. Most businesses accept credit and debit cards such as Mastercard and Visa. Banks around the country can exchange currency. Money changers are also available in the cities. ATMs on the Cirrus network are available in banks and most shopping centers. Money wiring services, such as Western Union and Moneygram, are also available.
Mauritius’s telecommunications infrastructure has not kept pace with recent technological advances, but reliable international mail, telephone, fax, e-mail, and internet services are available and are generally more reliable than the rest of the Indian Ocean region. Speed and bandwidth of internet connectivity, though improving with direct cables linking to India, Madagascar, and South Africa, are currently inadequate for many modern commercial requirements. There are currently 350 Wi-Fi hotspots across the island. As of March 2022, 267,400 households had access to fiber optic connectivity. In June 2021, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) granted 5G licenses to three mobile operators. At the time of writing of this report, only one telecom operator, Mauritius Telecom, had deployed 5G services in four regions of the island.
The power supply is 220-240 volts and the plug types used are type C, E, F and G (British).
Direct flights connect Mauritius to several international destinations. Regular flights serve France, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, India, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Seychelles. There are no direct flights between Mauritius and the United States. U.S. travelers typically transit through Paris, London, Johannesburg, or Dubai. It is relatively easy to travel around the island by taxi or rental car. In general, taxi fares must be negotiated before setting out. Traffic drives on the left. Port Louis is a 50-minute drive from the airport and easily accessible from other parts of the country, except during the morning and evening rush hours, when traffic can be slow.
The official language is English, but French and Mauritian Creole are used in everyday life. Most business executives are bilingual in English and French. Several Asian languages (Hindi, Urdu, and Mandarin) are also spoken, but usually only at religious or cultural events.
Mauritius has no major health hazards. It is considered malaria-free. Vaccination is not required unless the traveler arrives from an infected area. While hospitals and clinics within the public health system are adequate and free, foreign visitors must pay out-of-pocket for their health needs and are advised to secure health coverage before traveling to the island. There are several private facilities, such as Wellkin Hospital and Darne Clinic. Please consult this web address for Covid-19 related updates: State Department Website.
Local Time, Business Hours, and Holidays
Local Time and Business Hours: Local time is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and nine hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Business hours are as follows:
• Government Offices open 0900-1600, Monday through Friday
• Banks open 0900-1500, Monday through Friday and some banks remain open until 1700 on Fridays
• Businesses open 0830-1630 Monday through Friday and usually 0900-1300 Saturday
There are 15 Mauritian public holidays. The following are fixed: New Years, January 1 and 2; Independence Day, March 12; Labor Day, May 1; Assumption, August 15; Arrival of Indentured Labor, November 2; and Christmas, December 25. The remaining holidays are religious festivals whose dates vary. The American Embassy is closed on American and local holidays.
Temporary Entry of Materials and Personal Belongings
No duty is levied on apparel and personal effects of a passenger arriving in Mauritius. The following link provides updated information on other allowances and concessions offered to travelers: Mauritius Revenue Authority – Allowances.