It’s no news flash that the global spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has more than disrupted travel and scuba diving operations around the world. If anything, during the months of March and April we witnessed practically all diving-related operations from shops to day charters, liveaboards, and resorts literally shut down all activities.
We have already seen in the United States both Palm Beach County, Florida as well as North and South Carolina reopen dive charter operations for business; and now we are beginning to see other parts of the US reopen as well. As of May 20, 2020, dive charters in Broward County, Florida (Pompano Beach south to Fort Lauderdale) have resumed dive and snorkel trips under the State of Florida’s reopening guidelines. Like Palm Beach County, all trips will follow amended CDC social distancing guidelines including the reduction in the number of divers/snorkelers allowed on a boat to a max of 8 paying patrons. Elsewhere in the US, the state of California has also reopened (full details have not yet been made available).
Given the fluid nature of this pandemic it is difficult to keep track of which countries have opened to dive tourism or plan to open in the near future. And if they have opened to scuba diving, what restrictions have they put into place?
To help divers sort this out PADI® has gotten a little creative and launched a new interactive scuba diving-status map to apprise the scuba diving community of those countries–both domestic and abroad–that have begun lifting their stay-at-home orders, allowing dive businesses to become available again.
Like all things subject to dealing with this pandemic, PADI’s® new CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SCUBA DIVING STATUS MAP is going to be a continuous work in progress. This is because information from around the world will often be sketchy as most countries implementing their own local regulations will base their decisions on the spreading and receding effects of COVID-19. This will, of course, constantly undergo a series of adaptations, thus making the situation hard to stay up to date.
At the same time as PADI’s® launch of the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) SCUBA DIVING STATUS MAP, the DEMA (Diving Equipment and Marketing Association) organization is now providing a new reopening guide series for retailers seeking ways to protect their customers and employees, while safely reopening their businesses.