Dive in with both feet. But dive in where it’s safe.
One of the joys of scuba diving is scuba travel. Dive sites all around the world offer a cornucopia of sights, sounds, and textures. But COVID has imposed restrictions on dive travel.
You can still dive, but you have to choose your spots with caution. You have to keep yourself safe. Here is a quick guide to dive travel during the COVID pandemic.
Domestic Dive Travel
Dive travel within the United States is manageable. You can travel within your state to a dive site. Only two states, Massachusetts and New York, do not allow any scuba diving at all.
You may be able to travel to another state to dive. Most states allow interstate travel, but you will have to quarantine once you arrive in the state, usually for two weeks. You will also have to quarantine once you arrive back in your home state.
Most states do not allow divers from outside the country to enter. The states that do enforce quarantines, which last for up to two weeks.
The states with the most freedom to scuba are Louisiana and Tennessee. They permit travelers from all over the world to enter, and they both have many dive sites to offer.
All dive sites maintain their own safety regulations. They do not permit large groups to dive, nor do they permit groups from different houses to dive together. You are required to wear a mask and to employ social distancing while you receive instructions.
Plan any dive with a small group, and bring and disinfect your own equipment. Maintain social distancing in the week before your dive, and do not dive if you are sick.
International Dive Travel
The Department of State publishes travel advisories with COVID and other safety information. Read the travel advisory for the country you plan to travel to. Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which gives you a direct line to the embassy in your area.
The Department of State advises against all travel to Brazil, India, and most countries in Northern Africa. The Department asks travelers to reconsider travel to nearly all other countries with major dive sites. Most states do not allow Americans to travel outside the country, and those that do require travelers to quarantine for two weeks.
If you do decide to travel, travel in small groups without children, and pack your own equipment. Restrictions may change, and border closings may occur before or after you arrive in the country. Follow the news closely.
Every country has its own safety protocols. Belize requires travelers to stay within a “Tourism Safe Corridor,” confining you to certain hotels and dive sites. Honduras requires travelers to provide proof that they don’t have COVID, such as a negative test result.
Stay Safe and Smart on Scuba
Dive travel is a great way to see the world. But COVID has made travel difficult.
You can still dive within the United States. You can dive within your own state, and you can travel to another state, but that state may have restrictions. Disinfect your equipment and wear a mask.
You can still dive elsewhere in the world. But be careful. Read travel advisories, and make a plan for what you’ll do in an emergency.
Get training before you start traveling. Scuba Guru offers classes, tips, and other guides. Contact us today, or call us at 908-379-8220. If you are also looking to dive in the Northeast quadrant of the USA, give us a call. We offer SDI and PADI classes.