Are you getting itchy fins? For many of us, the pandemic has meant months out of the water. And, for most dedicated scuba divers, that's far too long...
But, when will it be safe to start diving again? And how will you know where and when you're able to travel? If planning a trip during these unprecedented times is turning out to be more challenging than expected, this article is for you!
We'll share expert advice from industry authorities to help you stay safe before, during, and after dive travel. And, introduce you to ZuBlu's brand new up-to-date resources dedicated to helping you get back in the water.
Keep reading to learn all about diving in the time of COVID-19 and start planning your next adventure now!
Before Your Holiday Begins
Safe dive travel starts before you ever leave home. Follow these pre-planning tips for a safe and fun adventure from start to finish:
- The first step to planning a safe and fun diving holiday is choosing the right destination. As different countries around the globe begin to open their doors to tourism, new travel restrictions and suggestions are starting to emerge.
- Not sure if your dream destination is ready to receive visitors? No worries. Contact us with your preferred travel plans, and our expert team will get back to you right away with all the insider information.
- Keep in mind that local regulations or flight carriers may currently require you to complete a PCR or rapid test before travel. Keep an eye on your airline operator and destination of choice’s government operator’s websites for the most accurate and up to date information.
Once you've settled on where in the world you'll be diving, the next step is selecting a COVID-19 safe operator. Keep these factors in mind when choosing:
- Select a dive centre or resort that is obeying local orders and global recommendations for quarantine and social distancing requirements. It's essential to choose a provider who adheres to proper sanitation procedures and encourages guests and staff to wear appropriate personal protective equipment like masks whenever possible. Employee and visitor health go hand in hand, after all!
- Individually researching each supplier's pandemic policies adds up to a ton of work - but ZuBlu is here to help! We’ll help you quickly identify which operators featured on our site are taking all the recommended steps to ensure their operations are safe. Keep an eye out for our Safe Diving badge, rolling out soon!
Learn more about what ZuBlu is doing to keep your travels safe and fun, and help you book with confidence.
Safe and Worry-Free Travel
Unless you're diving locally, travel might actually be the riskiest part of diving during the pandemic. But, you can keep yourself safe by using a bit of common sense and following some simple guidelines:
- Maintain as much social distancing as possible while in crowded places like airports, train stations, and food courts. And, remember to wear a mask any time you're in public! You should also wash your hands frequently with soap and water, not just antibacterial gel, and avoid touching your face.
- You can further minimise risk by staying fit and maintaining a few healthy habits. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep, can help bolster your body's natural defences against COVID-19, as well as other contagious illnesses.
You may also need to adjust some of your diving practices to meet guidelines for social distancing and proper sanitation. This could mean small changes like using a eco friendly mask defogger instead of spit, performing a socially distant buddy check, and skipping out on that group photo when the dive day is done.
While these modifications to your routine might sound like a lot of work, they really aren't, and you'll likely adjust after just one or two dives. You might also find dive travel easier and less stressful with some changes to your equipment:
- If you've been thinking about buying your own dive gear, now might be the right time. Some commonly shared pieces of rental equipment including masks, snorkels, and regulators that come in contact with your mouth and nose could potentially transmit COVID-19 if they are not properly sanitised after use.
- But you don’t need to run out and buy a complete new scuba setup! Even small changes like using your own regulator mouthpiece can help keep you safe. And, the majority of dive gear including wetsuits, buoyancy compensators, weights, and fins, present little to no risk.
There's no perfect moment to start diving again - it's up to you to determine the potential risks. And of course, scuba fanatics with preexisting medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension should talk with their doctor about travelling during the pandemic. But, divers in perfect health may return to the sport as soon as they feel comfortable.
After the Adventure
Depending on where in the world you call home, you might need to take some extra precautions after dive travel. Follow these tips to ensure your diving holiday ends on the same brilliant note it began on:
- Be aware of and follow your home country's guidelines for a safe return after foreign travel. Additional testing and social distancing practices may be required. Check your government’s website for the most up to date on travel restrictions and quarantines.
- Some destinations like the Maldives are now offering quick testing facilities on departure to help travellers have a worry-free trip home. Take advantage of these offers so you can easily fulfil your country's health and safety requirements before stepping on a plane home.
- Don't let your standards for safety slip during your return trip. Just because your vacation is over, doesn't mean you should let your guard down. Keep wearing your mask and using social distancing practices the whole way through!
Since the start of the pandemic, the dive industry has been operating in stealth mode - with dive centres and resorts working tirelessly behind the scenes to offer you safe access to the ocean again. And, with more and more divers starting to travel, the industry is starting to make its comeback! Here are some ways that you can help:
- If you had a great time, don't forget to leave an online review for your dive centre or resort. Right now, these businesses are counting on your feedback! And, be sure to mention which pandemic-safe practices you saw being used to help other divers make the right choice.
- How was your adventure? Other divers around the world could benefit from hearing about your experience. Share your COVID-19 travel stories and photos in our online community.
Do you have more questions about diving in the time of COVID-19? If so, don't hesitate to reach out. Our team of dive travel experts has tons of insider information to help you plan your journey from start to finish. Contact us today with your enquiries.
And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter. We're regularly releasing new information on where and when dive travel is available, plus hot tips on choosing your next destination. Don't worry, we'll only send you really good stuff - and we never share your details.