Water Sports

COVID-19 Updates for Scuba Divers

Coronavirus is affecting everyone worldwide, including scuba divers, from individual travelers to dive shop and liveaboard operators. We’ve been in contact with members of the dive community from around the world to bring you the latest coronavirus updates and considerations to keep in mind for any future or planned dive travel. Please use this blog as a way to stay informed on what is taking place in the scuba diving community right now, and always check with local authorities and government entities before determining when and if it’s safe to travel or leave your home.

If you are a member of the scuba diving community and would like to provide a coronavirus update on your business or region, please email our editors at edit@padi.com

Clearly Cayman Dive Resorts Launch Flexible COVID Cancellation Policy

February 8, 2021

The resorts now allow customers to reschedule or cancel any 2021 or 2022 bookings free of charge if the changes are due to a COVID illness or travel restrictions. “We are more anxious than ever to welcome our customers to our beautiful Islands for spectacular diving, great food and relaxing accommodations, and hope the Worry-Free Guarantee will ease some of the anxiety when making travel plans,” Sue Belport, Clearly Cayman’s sales director, said in a company press release.

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

February 1, 2021

As of January 26, international travelers entering the U.S. must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their flight. The region has “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,” says a Quintana Roo Tourism Board press release. COVID test FAQs, approved Mexican providers and more are available on the tourism board website.

Bonaire to Open to North American Visitors

January 18, 2021
The island of Bonaire will welcome back North American travelers with direct flights to resume in February from Atlanta, Miami, Houston and Newark. Delta Airlines will resume weekly direct flights from Atlanta beginning Saturday, February 6, 2021. On February 13, 2021, American Airlines’ Wednesday and Saturday routes from Miami (MIA) and United Airlines’ non-stop Saturday flights to/from Houston (IAH) and Newark (EWR) will begin scheduled service to Bonaire.

Tourism Corporation Bonaire is prepared to meet travelers’ testing needs required by the CDC. Bonaire has announced a collaboration between Medical Laboratory Services and Health Center Bon Bida Bonaire to provide on-site and on-location COVID-19 PCR testing needed for travel declaration. The price for the Antigen rapid test is $75 USD and the PCR test $150 USD. Private testing at hotel rooms, vacation homes, etc., is also available and will incur a $120.00 surcharge (per location fee, not per person). Test results will be made available by email within 24-36 hours.

The Bahamas Government Ready to Integrate New CDC Order into Existing Protocols

January 13, 2021
The Government of The Bahamas has already implemented strict measures to protect its citizens, residents and visitors, and is positioned to adhere to the latest order from the CDC requiring testing of all passengers traveling to the United States. In addition, travelers visiting The Bahamas, who stay longer than four nights and five days are required to take a rapid antigen test on the fifth day of their stay. There are a number of testing sites throughout The Bahamas approved to administer tests. To view the list of approved COVD-19 testing sites in The Bahamas, please visit Bahamas.com/travelupdates.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Announces Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result for All Air Travel Passengers Arriving into the United States

January 12, 2021
Effective January 26, 2021, all aircraft passengers arriving into the United States from any foreign country must take and present a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test result. The new order signed January 12, 2021, supersedes previous orders signed by the CDC and applies to all travelers, ages two and up. The negative pre-departure test must be a viral test that was conducted during the three calendar days preceding the flight’s departure from a foreign country. To see a list of exemptions and read the full release from the CDC, click here.

Flight Options to Cancun Increase

Numerous airlines launched new flights to Cancun in December, including:

  • Spirit’s six flights a week from Orlando
  • American Airlines’ weekly flight from Indianapolis and Chicago
  • Alaska Airlines’ daily flight from Los Angeles

Frontier Airlines also announced it will begin flying to Cancun four times a week from Orlando In February and Miami in March.

“Talking about the winter season, we are very pleased to see that the work done with the airlines is paying off in the reactivation of the state’s tourist destinations; in addition to the effort that has been made with the implementation of the Mexican Caribbean Clean & Safe Check Certification by hoteliers, restaurants, parks and the entire tourism industry in the state that has generated confidence in travelers, airlines and tour operators, which allows us to continue in this process to recover the arrival of flights,” said Darío Flota, CEO of the Quintana Roo Tourism Board, in a tourism board press release.

Direct Flights to Belize Start from Denver, Colorado

United Airlines launched flights from Denver to Belize’s Philip Goldson Airport on Saturday, December 19th. This seasonal flight will continue on Saturdays until March 2021.

“United has served Belize for more than 30 years and we look forward to continuing to connect customers to Belize from our hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York/Newark and from Los Angeles starting in January,” Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of International Network and Alliances, said in a Belize Tourism Board press release.

Charter Flights Available to Guanaja

Following the Honduran border reopening mid-August, charter flights with Lanhsa Airlines from San Pedro Sula to Guanaja are available for a minimum of 10 people. Flight schedules can be arranged to accommodate guests of the dive resorts of Clark’s Cay or Villa on Dunbar Rock. Regularly scheduled flights have yet to resume.

International Flights Resume to Belize

Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport reopened on October 1st. Non-stop flights are now running from Miami and Houston, and service will resume from Atlanta on November 20, according to a press release from the Belize Tourism Board. Once in Belize, travelers must stay within a “Tourism Safe Corridor,” which includes hotels, restaurants and tour operators that have received Gold Standard Recognition for meeting a new, nine-point program that assesses business health procedures. Additional travel information, including how to download the newly required Belize Health App, is available at: travelbelize.org/health-safety.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

GoFundMe Running to Feed Residents of Belizean Island

A soup kitchen on Caye Caulker is running a GoFundMe to provide food for the approximately 2,000 residents on the tiny island in the Caribbean sea. “With no tourists here to enjoy this tropical paradise, our unemployment is in the 95% range,” reads the fundraising page. The group aims to raise a total of $85,000 to continue helping residents as Belize’s tourism industry shows no signs of reopening soon. “In the last weeks,” writes a fundraiser spokesperson, “many new Covid cases have emerged in the country, including 14 on our Caye. The result: Restrictions have been reinforced to almost a lock-down level, businesses are once again closing, local tourism on the weekends has vanished and the airport remains closed” through October 1st.

Meridian Adventure Dive Resort Reopens for Domestic Visitors in Raja Ampat

The PADI 5 Star Resort reopened for domestic travel at the end of August, with enhanced safety protocols to mitigate COVID transmission, after the government declared the nearby regency Tambrauw a low-risk region. Travel deals for operators are running between September 1 to January 31, 2021. Reservation inquiries should be directed to Regional Manager Leona Meadows at lm@meridianadventures.com or the reservations department at reservations@meridianadventuresdive.com.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

International Flights to Belize to Resume in October

The country’s international airport will reopen on October 1st, according to an announcement from Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow. This re-opening was initially scheduled for August, but was delayed due to domestic COVID spikes. Resuming international air travel is a part of Belize’s multi-stage plan for restarting tourism; only select hotels are allowed to host international guests. Travel protocols such as entry requirements are subject to change, so the tourism board recommends visiting its COVID updates blog before booking and departure.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Mayan Princess Beach and Dive Resort Reopens

The Roatan resort reopened on Monday, August 17. “Mayan Princess has created and developed new biosecurity protocols that are compliant with the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization, Honduran Health Ministry, international health entities and tourism chambers of different parts of the world” to fight coronavirus transmission, according to a company press release. During the closure, the resort renovated its walkways, deck, pools, terraces and opened a new all-you-can-eat restaurant. For more information, contact Mayan Princess at reservations@mayanprincess.com or call toll free at 1-877-587-4131.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Anthony’s Key Resort to Reopen September 5

Anthony’s Key Resort will reopen on Saturday, September 5. Travelers must meet specific requirements before entering Honduras, including proof of a negative COVID test result taken within the 72 hours before entering the country.

The resort has implemented heightened sanitary protocols, such as contactless check-in and reduced divemaster-to-diver ratios, and introduced flexible cancellation policies.

“The welfare and safety of our guests and staff is always our most important priority. Many of our staff and guests have been part of Anthony’s Key Resort family for decades, and we look forward to being reunited,” says a company press release. “We can’t wait to welcome guests back to Anthony’s Key Resort!”

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Honduras Announces Resumption of International Flights

Honduran airports will reopen for international flights on Monday, August 17, according to a government announcement made during a virtual meeting. This follows the August 10th resumption of domestic flights. The opening of the airports will be done “gradually” and “personnel has been prepared to follow the biosecurity protocols,” according to a news release about the meeting from the Honduran Agency of Civil Aeronautics.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Reopening of Belize City’s International Airport Postponed

As of August 5th, the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) has been indefinitely postponed from August 15th due to a spike of COVID-19 cases in three of the country’s districts.

Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico Reopens to Visitors

Loreto, a city on the Gulf of California in Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, has begun reopening its tourism activities. Hotels are operating at 30 percent capacity while restaurants and hotel activities, like golf and swimming, can operate with social distancing accommodations. “…We are approaching each [reopening] step cautiously for both our guests and our locals,” said Jesus Ordoñez, general director of Visit Baja Sur, in a press release. “As a small, remote city with a low population and wide-open terrain, we are a safe escape and a safe place to live. We invite visitors to share it with us in a safe and responsible way.” Baja California Sur received a “Safe Travels” stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council in recognition of its COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Dive Paradise Announces COVID-19 Safety Protocols

The Cozumel operator announced a series of new hygiene guidelines for staff and patrons to minimize the spread of coronavirus, including: submission of waivers online, reduced boat capacity and individually sealed lunch sacks, free equipment sanitization for divers using their own gear, disinfection of the store and boats throughout the day, mask mandates for staff and customers, and renting regulators without mouth pieces (divers can purchase one or bring their own).

“Safety has always been Dive Paradise’s number one priority,” Dive Paradise General Manager Laura Alcala Ortega said in a press release. “Our efforts start with new government regulations and DAN International recommendations, but go even further.”

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Belize Announces Phased Reopening Plan for Tourism

As a part of Belize’s multi-stage tourism reopening, the Philip Goldson International Airport will reopen on August 15. Travelers must test negative for COVID-19 to enter the country. Those that provide certification of a negative test taken within 72 hours before the flight will enter the country via a ‘fast track’ lane. Passengers that do not provide a negative COVID-19 test will be tested upon arrival; if the test is positive, the passenger will be quarantined for at least 14 days at their own expense.

The roadmap also includes a new hotel and tour certification, the “Tourism Gold Standard,” to indicate the operator meets the country’s COVID-19 mitigation standards, such as increased cleaning, reduced tour capacity, and amenities that minimize interaction with locals, like an on-site pool and airport shuttle. Travelers are encouraged to stay at Gold Standard hotels, which will be the first to reopen.

“All travelers to Belize will be required to adhere to health and safety measures implemented by the Government of Belize including social distancing, hand sanitization, proper hygiene and the wearing of face masks in public spaces” when in the country, according to a press release from the Belize Tourism Board. For more information about the health and safety protocols, visit the Belize Tourism Board’s website.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Barceló Hotel Group Announces New Guest Safety Measures

Barceló Hotel Group seeks to optimize guest safety at its properties with its new “We Care About You” program. According to a company press release, these steps include new hygienists to oversee hotel disinfection, rearranging furniture in common spaces for distancing and increased use of contact-free technology. Occidental Cozumel and Allegro Cozumel, each part of the Barceló Hotel Group, will re-open on November 1st and December 1st, respectively. For more information regarding the hotel group’s COVID-19 protocols, visit its website.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Presidente InterContinental® Cozumel Resort & Spa Implements Coronavirus Cleaning Policies

The 218-room resort and spa has implemented IHG’s “Clean Promise” protocols and Grupo Presidente’s Cleaning and Safety Protocols to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Scuba Du, the on-site PADI Five Star Dive Center, resumed operations on June 12th after shutting down due to coronavirus.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Dive Paradise Cozumel Reopens

Dive Paradise Cozumel reopened on June 12th after a COVID-19 lockdown. “Boats will be running with reduced capacity to maximize social distancing, hand sanitizer will be readily available, and all staff will be wearing masks. In addition, on-board food will now be organized into sealed sack lunches for each individual diver,” according to a company press release.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Fiji Airways Announces “Travel Ready” Program

Although Fiji has banned international flights through the end of July, Fiji Airways announced a new set of public health requirements and service adjustments customers can expect when service resumes. Customers and staff will be required to wear a face mask for the duration of the flight, with the exception of individuals for whom that is a medically unsafe and children. There will also be a “medically qualified” Customer Wellness Champion on each flight to “manage and maintain wellbeing, customer medical safety and promote wellness through service interactions to passengers and crew,” according to a company press release. Full details of the changes being made to the flight experience before flying, at the airport and in the air are available at FijiAirways.com.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

PADI Launches Global Map to Monitor Where Diving is Allowed Amid COVID-19

PADI has launched an interactive map that allows divers to easily see if diving is allowed, restricted or currently prohibited in their area because of coronavirus restrictions. The map includes a pin for every single PADI Center and Resort. If the owner has provided the information to PADI, the pin provides information about whether the business is currently open and its hours.

“As the effects of COVID-19 spreading and receding from each country evolve, local regulations adapt creating a patchwork of situations making it hard to stay up to date, even for residents in their own community,” says PADI. “This map is a great resource for information on current guidelines, any potential restrictions and special safety precautions in place to help people safely dive in again locally and across the globe.”

If you are a PADI Dive Center or Resort that would like your business availability and hours added to the map, PADI says: “Check your email for a personal link to update information for your area and business. By completing the online form using the unique link and keeping it regularly updated, you will be ensuring the most accurate information is available to divers.”

The map is continually updated to reflect the fluid nature of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Florida Keys Reopen

The Florida Keys reopened on Monday, June 1st after closing on March 22nd to prevent the spread of coronavirus along the chain of islands. Health checkpoints on two roads leading to the islands were removed and airport health screenings are suspended, “except for passengers on nonstop flights from designated COVID-19 hotspot states,” according to a press release about the reopening. It goes on to say island businesses have “implemented safeguards that include enhanced sanitizing, reduced occupancy limits, required social distancing and the wearing of masks, and barriers or increased space between seating areas and restaurant tables” as well as signage “to remind the public of the health protocols.”

The Keys tourism council issued advisory health precautions for tourists, which include packing face masks and hand sanitizer, avoiding socialization in groups of more than 10 strangers and checking ahead with tour operators about what facilities will be operating, (like public bathrooms), before arrival.

Note: COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. Nonessential travel is banned between some destinations, and others mandate a two-week quarantine period for travelers at the start or end of a trip. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s “COVID-19 Country Specific Information” center for up-to-date information on travel restrictions and coronavirus statistics.

Dr. Mark Whiteside, Monroe County, Florida’s Medical Director, Discusses Coronavirus Travel Tips for Florida Keys:

Dive Paradise Launches GoFundMe for Staff

The Cozumel dive operator is running a GoFundMe to supplement staff pay. “While the company has committed to continue paying all employee’s base salaries,” Dive Paradise said in a press release, “the dedicated staff of divemasters, instructors, boat captains, mates and sales and support staff are all left without the trip-based wages and tips that they rely on to survive.”

Divers Alert Network (DAN) Answers COVID FAQs

To help dive operators prepare to resume business operations, DAN released answers to common inquiries about returning to diving amid COVID-19. “Covered topics include safety practices for retail areas, staff and client interactions, dive boat operations, gear disinfection protocols and more,” DAN said in a press release. Other coronavirus resources from DAN for divers, such as articles and webinars, can be accessed at DAN.org/COVID-19.

If your inquiry is not addressed, you can contact DAN directly:

  • RiskMitigation@DAN.org: questions about operational or dive safety
  • Medic@DAN.org or call +1-919-684-2948: questions about dive fitness or medicine
  • Member@DAN.org or call +1-919-684-2948: questions about membership and insurance

New Green Fins Resources Aim To Help Dive and Snorkel Operators Stay Eco-Friendly During COVID-19

Green Fins, an initiative lead by UN Environment and the Reef-World Foundation to protect reefs by guiding dive and snorkel operators on sustainability, released guidelines for dealing with chemical cleaning agents in an eco-friendly manner and is providing free access to the Green Fins Dive Operator Handbook, normally £20. “We appreciate that this is an incredibly tough time for the diving and snorkeling industry,” said Chloe Harvey, Reef-World’s director, in a press release. “The coronavirus pandemic has many negative consequences for many people but there are silver linings including the potential to ‘redefine’ the tourism industry and use this downtime to put better environmental policies in place….”

Top Green Fins members have advanced their sustainability measures during lockdown including Evolution, in the Philippines, which partnered with the local sea police and other dive shops to monitor the waters for illegal fishing. “During this time when no one is diving, we realised that the dive sites could be at high risk of overfishing, especially as out of work employees look for ways to feed their families,” said Evolution Partner and TDI Instructor Trainer Matt Reed in a Green Fins press release. Two fishermen were arrested during the lockdown for fishing in protected areas. “So, even under these very challenging circumstances, the local dive shops have shown that they can work together to do their best for the amazing thresher sharks and the environment in which the sharks live….We are doing what we can to ensure the diving remains excellent and we encourage people to help out both the ocean and the small island of Malapascua by coming to visit as soon as we can open again for business,” Reed said.

First PADI Dive Shop in Wuhan Reopens After COVID-19 Shutdown

Wuhan Diving, a PADI dive shop in the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, resumed operations earlier this month. Employees and customers alike need to provide negative coronavirus tests to enter, yet, despite the disruptions, the owner expects to issue as many scuba certifications in 2020 as in 2019. .

Pacific Island Dive Resort Giving 20 Frontline Healthcare Workers a Free Vacation – Enter to Win!

Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers is giving away a seven-night stay with five days of diving to 20 frontline healthcare workers fighting COVID-19. “We’re looking forward to pampering a few of the many thousands of people around the world who have worked so hard for so long caring for patients during this pandemic,” said the resort’s owner, Bill Acker, in a press release. “It’s a small but heartfelt gesture on our part in comparison to the sacrifices they have been making.”

Nomination rules and the entry form can be found at mantaray.com. The deadline for entries is December 31, 2020 and winners will be notified on or around January 1, 2021.

Pro Dive International Dive Centers launch fundraiser to cover staff salaries

Pro Dive International Dive Centers, which operates in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, launched a fundraiser to supplement the salaries of its more than 150 employees. “Please help us now, to support ourselves and our families through this rough patch,” Pro Dive said in a press release. “We promise to be back, and ready to serve you again as soon as the COVID-19 crisis is over, hopefully very soon!” Donate at: donorbox.org/prodive

Sea Save Foundation Launches Dive Destination Fundraisers on #GivingTuesday

Divers can donate to dozens of dive operations through a crowdfunding campaign launched by the Sea Save Foundation on Giving Tuesday. “We believe that the people on the front lines of dive expeditions are critical ambassadors for ocean conservation. They show the world the beauty and challenges facing oceans” and will receive 100 percent of the donated funds, the Sea Save Foundation said in a press release. Donate at: seasave.org/scubaambassadors

Cave Training Mexico Donates Medical Equipment, Launches Face Mask Partnership

Cave Training Mexico donated 50 medical grade quality masks, 500 pairs of latex gloves, and 5 liters of hand sanitizer to a local hospital, with work ongoing to make a second donation. The organization has also partnered with a local seamstress to provide hand-made cotton masks for members of the public, shipping to the U.S. is offered. For mask information or to assist with ongoing donations, contact Alessandra Figari, owner of Cave Training Mexico at cavetrainingmexico@gmail.com.

Liquid Motion Underwater Photo & Film Academy to Launch Free Photo Tutorials

On Wednesday, April 19, Liquid Motion Underwater Photo & Film Academy will launch a free series of online lessons in underwater photography and films on their YouTube channel taught by award-winning Underwater Photographer/Filmmaker/Artist Guy Chaumette. “Now is the perfect time to work on your underwater imaging, and after subscribing to these tutorials, you could emerge a different person on the other side of quarantine,” Liquid Motion said in a press release. Online courses in underwater photography and cinematography are available at liquidmotionacademy.com.

Aggressor Adventures Launches Clean, Refresh, & Sanitize Initiative

Aggressor Adventures Clean, Refresh and Sanitize

Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures, wants divers to know that the team at Aggressor is working hard during this time to make sure they are ready and better-than-ever. The Aggressor yacht, river cruise, and safari lodge staff are spending their downtime deep cleaning and disinfecting all areas for the safe return of guests. More ways the Aggressor team is committed to Clean, Refresh, & Sanitize:
• Running drills and training for response to emergency situations
• Refreshing and cleaning environmental systems, air conditioners and watermakers
• Painting and repairing cosmetic wear and tear
• Organizing, testing, and servicing emergency equipment
• Updating all briefings and presentations

Crowdfunding Campaign for Dive Resort Staff Supplies 230 Bags of Groceries

Anthony’s Key Resort staff members received two weeks of groceries on Tuesday, April 14 thanks to more than $10,000 raised through a crowdfunding campaign, the resort said in a press release. The campaign is ongoing, with donations accepted online. (NOTE: The donation platform will allow you to select the Anthony’s Key Resort as the recipient once a donation amount is selected.)

Fourth Element Launches The UnderBathWater Photo Contest

Fourth element YouTube video

Dive gear manufacturer Fourth Element has launched a fun, photo contest that you can participate in without ever leaving your home. The best photographer will win £400 worth of Fourth Element dive gear. All you have to do is create an underwater scene in your bath, sink or bucket; upload the photo to your Instagram account, use the hashtag #UnderBathWater and tag @fourthelementdive to enter. Entries must be submitted by May 1, 2020. No inappropriate content will be accepted.

Humanitarian Flight Scheduled to Depart Aruba on April 15th

Spirit Airlines will operate a humanitarian flight for U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents. The flight will depart from Aruba and land in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 15, 2020. Passengers residing in Bonaire and Curacao will have the option to use Divi Divi airlines to transfer to Aruba in order to catch this flight. Please click here for the official announcement from the U.S. Consulate and contact Spirit Airlines directly to book a seat on this flight.

Online Auction to Support Staff of Dive With Martin

An online auction will be held from April 20 to 30 to contribute to staff salaries and replace gratuities at Dive with Martin in Cozumel. “The goal of this online auction is to raise money to help keep each of our valuable staff employed with a minimum salary,” said the shop in a press release. Join the “Dive with Martin Friends” Facebook group to access the auction.

Eco Divers Reef Foundation Sets up GoFundMe to Support Local Shops, Coral Nurseries

Eco Divers Reef Foundation, a Cayman Islands nonprofit that works with local dive shops to propagate coral nurseries, now has a GoFundMe to support their local partners. Donations “will go directly into helping the dive shops run their shore diving and help keep the coral nurseries thriving. Please be safe during these times and thank you for any little donation as it will go a long way for many on the island,” said Brittany Balli, director of the Eco Divers Reef Foundation, in an email to Scuba Diving Magazine.

Fourth Element Launches Digital Dive Activities

The divewear company is launching several virtual activities to keep the dive community engaged:

1) Photogrammetry Classes with John Kendall – Learn to build 3D computer models from underwater photographs in workshops supported by Fourth Element, which are running April 2nd, April 6th, Thursday 9th at 4pm UK time (11am EST). Sign up at: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/v2t4z0

2) Underwater photography competition – The categories include:

  • Inner Spaces
  • Freedom
  • Creatures

Prizes of Fourth Element gear will be given, entry details available at: facebook.com/fourthelementdive.

3) Under (bath) Water Photography Competition – “Basically, set up an underwater scene in your bath tub, fill the bath and photograph the scene,” says a Fourth Element press release. Entries can be posted on Facebook and Instagram. Details will be posted on the Fourth Element Facebook page on Monday, April 13.

4) Underwater Film Festival, Imaging Workshops, Virtual Dives – Tune into Fourth Element’s YouTube channel for:

  • Films shown at the 2018 and 2019 Underwater Film Festival will be posted on Fourth Element’s YouTube channel. Release date T.B.D.
  • Photo editing workshops for underwater photographers from Photographer of the Year competition judge, Saeed Rashid
  • Virtual dives through screenings of 3D movies by underwater filmmaker Danny Copeland

NOTE Anthony’s Key Resort is now accepting donations at care4communities.org/donate. This donation platform will allow you to select the Anthony’s Key Resort as the recipient once a donation amount is selected.)

GoFundMe Created to Support Anthony’s Key Resort Staff

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help replace wages lost by Anthony’s Key Resort’s staff during COVID-19 travel restrictions. It was set up in appreciation by a diver who, after getting stranded at Anthony’s Key Resort (AKR) on Roatan when Honduras closed its boarders, saw the effort the staff put in to getting him and all the other divers home safely.

Patricia Stone, another diver briefly stuck at Anthony’s Key Resort, said via email to PADI: “When I asked one of the upper management staff if the resort will survive, she responded that the staff will keep up the resort – cleaning, answering phones and anything else they can do – even with no paychecks, because they know it needs to be done or they will not have anything to come back to… AKR is a very special resort to so many divers. I am hopeful you or someone at PADI can help me get the word out about how AKR owners/staff bent over backwards for us and am also hoping our great community of divers can help them during this extremely difficult time.”

Divers Home after Getting Stuck in Paradise

When Honduras closed its boarders and cancelled flights, 20 divers halfway through a one week stay at Cabañas on Clark’s Cay and Villa on Dunbar Rock realized they were “stranded” at the resorts. According to a press release issued jointly from the resorts, both extended the divers’ stay free of charge for as long as it took to get them home safely: “While it is nice and safe here, they weren’t with their loved ones,” said Mark Walker, Vice President and Operations Manager for both properties. “We also recognize that they weren’t here of their own free will. Therefore they weren’t charged for an extended stay that was not of their choosing. Not even for extras like diving, food, and beverages.”

The resorts scheduled a private yacht and bus to get the divers to the airport when American Arlines received permission to land on Roatan, Honduras to pick up more than 150 stranded travelers.

Joe Adams, owner of the Colorado-based Joe’s Scuba Shack, had a group staying at Dunbar Rock and said in the press release: “The staff and resort were amazing and went way above. The diving was wonderful, and our group was spoiled. If we had to be ‘stranded,’ we couldn’t have been in a better place.”

“I would like to sincerely thank Lee and all his marvelous staff for taking such great care of us during the Coronavirus epidemic that closed the countries borders,” said Clark’s Cay guest Lisa Pergament once she was home. “We were at Clark’s Cay a week longer than expected, and we were well taken care of, able to dive still, eat gourmet food, drink, and get pampered! I truly appreciate the two weeks of fun and sanity while the rest of the world was going crazy.”

Aggressor Adventures Deep Cleans Properties, Equipment

According to a press release from Aggressor Adventures CEO Wayne Brown, their staff “getting all destinations ready for the safe, healthy, and joyful return of our valued guests. Currently, staff are focused on our number one priority to clean, refresh, and sanitize every Aggressor brand.

“For example, all yachts, river cruise vessels and safari lodge chalets are under-going deep cleanings and thorough disinfecting from bow to stern and starboard to port. This includes refreshing and cleaning all environmental systems such as air conditioners and water-maker systems. All dive equipment including compressors and scuba tanks are being visually checked and serviced. All dive rental equipment, too, is being cleaned and sterilized.”

Aggressor Adventures is also reviewing and updating safety policies and emergency response protocols.

Scuba Divers Rally Support for Roatan Resort Staff

The island of Roatan, like many places around the world, is currently closed to incoming tourists. But that hasn’t stopped generous divers from supporting their favorite dive resort. CocoView Dive Resort guests who have stayed at the resort five or more times, affectionately known as the CocoNuts, recently created a GoFundMe campaign to organize an emergency relief fund for the resort staff and their families. Talk about a loyal following!

Divers and Dive Operators Get Creative on Social Media

Many dive operations are not able to take divers diving at this time and instead have taken to social media to interact with their followers. One shop in Mauritius posts a virtual dive briefing each day while another operator in the Canary Islands is encouraging a specialty dive course for scuba diving in the shower. The best video we’ve seen yet is of two, stir-crazy divers simply going for a “dive” in their home:

Facebook Video – Diving at Home

Show us your creative way of diving while on lockdown by posting to social media and using #ScubaDivingMag. Can’t come up with anything? Here are ten ways to stay involved in the scuba community without getting wet.

The U.S. State Department Issues Level 4 Travel Warning

The U.S. Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A level 4 travel advisory is considered the highest level the state department issues and translates as a “do not travel” warning.

PADI Travel Highlights Dive Resorts and Liveaboards with Flexible Cancellation Policies

PADI Travel has worked with their operators to offer more flexible cancellation terms. The resorts and liveaboards listed on this page are offering more generous refund policies and rebooking conditions.

Divers Alert Network Encourages Divers and Operators to Disinfect Gear Properly

The recent coronavirus outbreak has led DAN to release guidelines on effectively sanitizing your dive gear. Gear can be sanitized by submerging it in a 10% bleach solution or using cleaning products such as Steramine™ tablets or other quaternary ammonium compounds.

For the entire release and tips on extra steps you can take to protect yourself, view DAN’s full release on their website.

Bonaire Announces New Travel Restrictions for Flights and Cruise Ships

As of March 15th, 2020, there were still no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 on Bonaire. In an effort to minimize the island’s exposure to the virus, the island government has been systematically announcing Bonaire travel restrictions for flights and cruise ships.

European Flights and Cruise Ships
Last Friday, the island government announced that all flights from Europe are immediately suspended until March 31st, 2020. Also, no cruise ships are allowed into port for 30 days.

Flights from U.S., Canada, Colombia and Dominican Republic
Announced today, and effective immediately, all flights from the U.S., Canada, Colombia and Dominican Republic have been suspended. Flights that were already en route to Bonaire at the time of suspension were allowed to land, but arriving passengers were interviewed and their place of stay registered. This restriction is in effect until March 27th, 2020, but can be extended.

Federated States of Micronesia Lift Travel Ban

Visitors to Yap can once again enter the country after a country-wide travel ban was lifted on Feb. 12, 2020. A Yap State Task Force is still in place to ensure that precautionary measures are being taken to protect all residents and visitors to Yap. The CEO of Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers, Bill Acker shared “Our guests will be met upon arrival and taken to their accommodations as quickly as possible”.

MORE: Coming Together During the COVID-19 Pandemic
How to Be a Diver Without Getting Wet

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