Snorkeling Coronavirus Update

January 6, 2021

The coronavirus has affected the snorkeling community for sure, but the virus has also impacted the world. Individual travelers, dive shops, and liveaboard operators have all felt the effects of restrictions and stay-at-home directives. 

Misery loves company, and the World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global pandemic. Even so, it is not all doom and gloom; it just seems like that.

Around the world, snorkeling during the pandemic news is that there is still a way to go before the only things to stop you are time and money.

SR News 1

You Can Still Snorkel, But…

Snorkeling during the COVID-19 pandemic is entirely possible, but the ease with which you can travel to do so has not yet opened up to make the venture feasible.

Hopefully, people know by now that COVID-19 is nothing to ignore or take lightly, but it is also a disease that we know more about. All signs point to using common sense and following the suggested guidelines to curtail the virus’s hold on the world.

Wear a mask when appropriate, give others space, and wash your hands. All simple actions, all easy to do. And that is all good news. The other side of the coin is that we are not out of the woods yet, but we can see the edge of the forest ahead.

The latest news about snorkeling during the pandemic is that if you are already in a place where you can enjoy this refreshing activity, then you can snorkel with abandon.

Woman in an airport wearing mask

Travel Is Still Risky, and International Traveling Is Even Riskier

If you must travel or fly to get to a snorkeling spot, the outlook is less open, but again, while the world is yet in the grip of COVID-19, hope is on the horizon. Right now, though, caution is reality.

Changes occur daily. Yesterday, December 20, 2020, you could fly out of England. Today, December 21, 2020, 40 countries are banning U.K. arrivals due to a mutant of the virus cropping up in England.

Again, while it might seem dire, there are bound to be blips on the radar until the situation stabilizes.

Be Aware Of Constantly Changing Travel Restrictions

Snorkelers are anxious to get back to the peace and beauty of the water! Just like the beloved sea, the Coronovirus situation is fluid. While a vaccine is on the way, patience is still required.

There are all kinds of information out there, but, as was pointed out in the U.K. arrival ban, use caution for any travel decisions you make.

U.K.’s new coronavirus strain leads to travel restrictions, and these travel restrictions saw trucks waiting to get out of Britain unable to leave and people stranded at airports. All this happened in the blink of an eye.

We at Snorkeling Report are making the point that even with all of the information out there, it is impossible to provide advice that applies to worldwide travel.

Recommendations and any open cities and countries could change in a matter of hours.

The best advice at this time is to check all of the options as thoroughly as you can before making a decision.

It would also be prudent to have a contingency plan if you get stuck along the route or in the country you are traveling to.

Travel restrictions and flight cancellations happen with very short notice. Look into travel insurance to see if you have any recourse if bookings get canceled.

Snorkeling Gear on a travel bag near a passport

Take Your Own Equipment If You Go Snorkeling

You may find some of the usual protocols have been revised, and one of those is in regard to equipment. Most tours supply the snorkeling equipment with their package deals, that, however, has changed with operators who are still conducting tours.

Some operators will want you to bring your own equipment. Others will provide the equipment, but charge a higher rate and have you keep the snorkel at the end of the tour.

All of this makes perfect sense and shows the level of caution and concern that operators are taking to keep their patrons safe.

Ask those questions before you go on a tour so that you are prepared in advance.

Map Of Coronovirus Risk Level For The World

Know that some countries are still at a very high level of Covid-19. Travel recommendations by destination from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are a map that updates the risk assessment level for Covid-19.

As of this writing, December 21, 2020, the updated map shows most of the world at level 4: Very high.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for travelers that include self quarantining for 14 days, as it is possible you could have contracted the virus during your travels. Even if you feel well, a person can be asymptomatic and unwittingly spread the virus to others.

Covid-19 2M distance sign on t floor

Each Country Has Their Own Rules and Regulations For The Virus

Some countries have taken stringent methods to contain the spread of the virus in their countries. A US Teen Gets Jail Time For Breaking COVID Rules In Cayman Islands. She broke the 14-day quarantine and caught doing so.

When you are traveling in another country, you are subject to their laws, and breaking them can land you in hot water…not the water you wanted to be in.

Take that into consideration, too. This is not the time to be flaunting restrictions imposed by a country’s Government.

 

Pandemic Snorkeling Update

The situation is in a constant state of flux, with changes daily and sometimes hourly. Keep that in mind, when making decisions.

  • If you do move forward with bookings, keep in contact with whichever operator you have contracted with. Before booking, check the cancellation policies. Some packages include flights, board, and diving in one payment. Often, those packages include a refund in the event of a cancellation. When you book each facet of your journey individually, refunds may not be available.
  • Check the latest government travel advice in your country of residence if you plan to travel locally. Check to see if there are restrictions put in place by your country regarding where you want to travel to. You may be able to get there but have restrictions placed on you about getting back. If you violate those restrictions, you could forfeit any travel insurance that you purchased.
  • Upon arrival, they might require testing for COVID-19 at the airport when you arrive. Factor in these delays for your travel plans. If you need to make connections or have a structured time frame, you may need to give yourself extra time to take these delays into consideration.
  • Before you purchase your travel insurance, find out what it covers if you fall ill. Do you have to self-isolate for 14 days, and does the insurance help you to cover the cost of doing so? Understand what is covered if your flight gets canceled because of the virus. Most importantly, know what is covered in terms of “repatriation.” This is in case travel between countries is restricted while you are abroad.
  • Lastly, do not travel if you are under the obligation to self-isolate. Just like the teenager, U.S. teenager jailed for breaking isolation rules; other countries can have some stiff penalties for failure to disclose and for knowingly breaking restriction rules.

Final Thoughts

In the future, things will probably look different for a while. When travel opens up, and the snorkeling spots are loudly calling your name, there will still be the remnants of this pandemic on display.

Already some airlines are deciding that they will be instituting some new rules. For one, Qantaswill requires Covid vaccinations for international flights. Expanding on that idea, health and travel officials have said that the way back to unrestricted travel is through vaccination.

An app in development travelers need to know about that will verify vaccinations, test results, and health waivers.

The bottom line is: take heart! The end is in sight, and the world will be getting back to normal in the foreseeable future. The year 2020 has been harsh, but there are better days ahead.

Some have been denied the thing they love the most, snorkeling in calm, peaceful waters, but those days will be returning. Just hold on to your optimism and be ready when the world opens up again.