Latest Snorkeling Update Regarding COVID-19, Travel Restrictions

March 23, 2021

It is good to be able to write this: while we are not yet out of the woods, we can see the light at the edge of the forest. 

Yes, we are still facing a world-wide challenge, and we still need to take precautions to stay safe. However, we can see, truly see, that there is a solution, and we will eventually have the ability to bring this dreaded virus under control.

It is of utmost importance to keep your guard up for a while yet. So don’t throw out your medical mask just yet! In the meantime, know that we, with due diligence, will soon be able to return to a more normal daily life. Keep your guard up, along with your optimism, and get ready to travel again!

It has been said before, and it will have to be said again, you will need to contact any airline, resort, or snorkeling site before traveling. In some areas, restrictions are being relaxed, and in others, they are being tightened.

Here are some examples of that from around the world.

 

Maldives

The Maldives

Snorkeling is allowed, and travel IN to the country is allowed. Travel OUT of the country is allowed with restrictions, and travel WITHIN the country is allowed with restrictions.

Top Maldives Destination Bandos Maldives

Dive Bandos is one of the longest established centers in the country. Located in the southern part of the Noth Male Atoll, they offer access to over 40 impressive dive sites. Use the link above to contact them, or call 00 960 664 0088.

Dive Oceanus

One of the leading dive center groups in the Maldives, Diveoceanus has five dive centers based in resorts across four different atolls. They are open with normal operations. As there are four different atolls, please use the above link for your desired atoll for a phone number.

 

Pilippines

The diving restrictions vary from state, province, and district.

SiDive: PADI Scuba Dive Center Cebu, Philippines, and Island Hopping & Snorkeling Tours in Cebu — SiDive Philippines

 

Located in the Kontiki marina, they have a house reef site in Mactan with an abundance of corals and fish species. Use the link above for more information or call them at +63 32 421 5360.

Snorkel a Pristine Coral Reef

Located in Cebu, the Alegria Dive Resort has a home reed known as Angelley’s Reef. It is a protected ecosystem situated in Sta Filomena Marine Sanctuary. Please find out more using the above link, or give them a call at +63 324 767 132.

 

Australia

Down Under In Australia

Snorkeling is allowed, and boat dives are available. However, travel IN to the country is not permitted. Travel OUT of the country is not permitted, and traveling WITHIN the country is allowed with restrictions.

If you are already in Australia, there are some dive shops that are open.

Rum Runner

You can snorkel on 12 hours full-day trips, 2D/1N, and all the way up to 5D/5N departing from Cairns. See the link above or call +61 429-638-744

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

You will be on the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea on Australia’s most awarded liveaboard, Spoilsport. Choose from three to seven-night expeditions. See the link above or +61 740-530-500

 

Sardinia

Sardinia, Italy

There are many areas open with only the requisite restrictions of masks and social distancing.

Golfo Aranci: 3 Escursioni Imperdibili Delfini & Snorkeling 2021

Snorkel in the Marine Protected Area of Travolara and Punta Coda Cavallo. Depending on the weather conditions, you will be able to visit the wreck of the ship Christ in Porto San Palo. Learn more using the above link or call at +39 338 272 7841.

Sea Project Castelsardo

Take a dinghy excursion and snorkel along the coast of Castelsardo to admire the medieval village from the sea and to discover the beauties of the underwater world. Find out more information about visiting at the above link or call +39 333 297 1396.

 

Some Good News! First Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccine Is Delivered To The Bahamas

The Bahamas received delivery of twenty thousand vaccines that were donated by the Indian government on Wednesday, March 10. “Today is the most delightful and joyous day of my life cause now we can see, truly, light at the end of the tunnel where we can overcome this pandemic,” says Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis. 

Bahamians will begin receiving doses in the third week of March 2021. With a population of 396,000, the Bahamas has a way to go to vaccinate all of their people, but it is a beginning. You have to start somewhere, and this donation is an exciting beginning for the Bahamas.

Keep In Mind

Again, while hope is on the horizon, we are not quite there yet. Please be aware that COVID-19 has placed extreme distress on medical facilities and evacuation service providers across the globe.

In some areas of the world, access to medical treatment and emergency transportation is delayed or unavailable. Some companies that provide Dive Insurance, like DAN, have excluded insurance coverage for expenses that are related to treatment or transportation-related to a pandemic or epidemic. If you choose to travel, make sure that your health insurance will cover you in case of an emergency.

Did You Know?

Environmentalist sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor has created his first installation in the Mediterranean Sea. The underwater artwork and creation of artificial reefs consisting of sculptures opened on February 1, 2021, after four years of work. 

The artificial reef consists of six enormous three-dimensional portraits that are over six feet in height and weigh about 10 tons each. The sculptures are just under the surface of the water and close enough to the shore to make it easy to access for both divers and snorkelers. 

The site is cordoned off to prevent boats from being in the area and eliminate damage caused by anchors, making it even safer for snorkelers.

Cannes-underwater-museum-52-of-79

The picture was taken from the sculpture’s website at Jason de Caires Taylor.

February 25, 2021

It sounds like a broken record, but things are still up in the air for those who would rather be underwater. The Coronavirus still has its grip on the world, affecting any decisions you make regarding travel.

It has been said before, and it will have to be said again, you will need to contact any airline, resort, or snorkeling site before traveling. In some areas, restrictions are being relaxed, and in others, they are being tightened.

Here are some examples of that from around the world.

Clearly Cayman Offer Flexible COVID Cancellation Policy

Clearly Cayman announced this month that their borders would not reopen to international travelers in March as they had previously hoped.

The Cayman government announced that reopening is contingent on the majority of the island’s population receiving a full COVID-19 vaccination regimen. 

While the vaccination program is underway, no timeline has been given for the Cayman Islands to reopen borders. With high hopes, Clearly Cayman is looking to reopen in June 2021. 

The Cayman Islands General Election is happening in May of 2021, and so reopening plans will not occur before then.

At this point, Clearly Cayman will be contacting all guests and group travel partners concerning reservations impacted under the new proposed reopening timeline. 

Guests will be allowed to rebook at the same rate for any available date through 2022 without change fees.

For those guests who have reservations in June 2021 and later, Clearly Cayman is continuously communicating with the Cayman Government regarding reopening information. Cleary Cayman will provide updates as they become known.

If you have questions for Clearly Cayman, contact them at 800.327.3835 or email them at reservations@clearlycayman.com.

Stingray City from above, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Mexican Caribbean Addresses COVID-19 Testing Resources for New USA Travel Requirements

The United States announced that as of January 2021, international travelers entering the U.S. must fill out a passenger disclosure and are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test that had been taken within 72 hours of their flight. 

In response, the Mexican Caribbean region has stated in a press release by Quintana Roo Tourism that any visitors to the Mexican Caribbean who want to visit but are concerned about getting authorization for entry back into their country of origin, are assured that the process will be easy.

According to the press release, Mexican providers state that they have “a vast network of hospitals and clinical analysis laboratories able to perform the Coronavirus COVID-19 diagnostic tests…and we are working to facilitate access to these tests.”

At this point (February 2021), you can travel to the Mexican Caribbean but will need to follow your countries rules of entry on your return trip. Even if you have had the COVID-19 vaccine, you will still need proof of a negative result test.

If you test positive, you will need to stay in the Mexican Caribbean to complete the quarantine period. This period will vary according to the country you are returning to. Some hotels in the area have specific areas for those who test positive and preferential rates. You can get more information at Travel Updates (COVID-19).

Cancun, Zona Hotelera, Quintana Roo. Mexico. April 2, 2019: The popular resort of Mexico is Cancun. White beaches and beautiful Caribbean Sea. Big luxury hotels on the Caribbean

Bonaire Island Is Open To North American Visitors

The island of Bonaire is once again open to North American Visitors. However, there is currently a ban on flights from the following countries: South American, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Cape Verde, and the Dominican Republic. 

Direct flights in the United States resumed in February 2021 from Atlanta, Miami, Houston, and Newark. Tourism Corporation Bonaire is prepared to meet traveler’s testing needs as required by the CDC. 

On-site and on-location COVID-9 testing needed for travel declaration priced at $75 USD for the Antigen rapid test and $150 USD for the PCR test. If you prefer private testing, it is available but comes with a $120 surcharge fee per location (not per person). Test results will be available by email within 24 – 36 hours.

To travel to Bonaire, all travelers, 13 and older, must have a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before arrival. All travelers must complete a Bonaire Public Health Department health declarations form no earlier than 72 hours and no later than 48 hours before departure. 

Please be aware if you arrive on Bonaire without a negative PCR test result and a negative antigen-test result, you will not be allowed to enter, and you will be sent back. 

Bonaire is also advising travelers to ensure that their health insurance will cover medical care costs during their stay on the island, including any care related to COVID-19. 

For more information on traveling to Bonaire, visit their Health & Safety Information – Bonaire Official Tourism Site website.

Kralendijk (Bonaire)

Bahamas Government To Integrate New CDC Order Into Existing COVID-19 Protocols

Having gone into effect on January 26th, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) required that all air passengers flying to the U.S. from a foreign country will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test (PCR or Antigen test) taken no more than 3 days prior to the flight.

This requirement is for all travelers aged 2 and older and includes U.S. citizens and international travelers. The government of the Bahamas implemented measures to adhere to the order from the U.S. and can integrate the CDC’s testing requirements into their existing COVID-19 protocols.

At this point, visitors to the Bahamas who stay longer than four nights and five days must take a rapid antigen test on the fifth day of their stay. There are several testing sites throughout the Bahamas to administer tests. 

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism website states that because of the fluidity of COVID-19, the Government of the Bahamas will continue to monitor cases across the islands and loosened or tightened restrictions as needed. 

They continued by saying, “The Bahamas is an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays, spread over 100,000 square miles, which means conditions and instances of the virus can be different on each of the 16 islands available to welcome visitors. Travelers should check the status of their island destination before traveling by visiting bahamas.com/travelupdates.”

For more information on traveling and staying in the Bahamas, visit Island Vacations – The Bahamas’ Official Website.

Aerial view of the hotel area of Nassau, Bahamas

With vaccines on the horizon, there is hope that the world is progressing toward a new normal. In the meantime, there are still protocols you will need to take before traveling to your favorite snorkeling spot, but it is worth the bit of hassle to experience the world just below the water.

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

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.

You Can Still Snorkel, But…

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.
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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.