PROTOCOLS FOR COVID-19

Jun 3, 2020Uncategorized0 comments

In 2020 our world was put upside down. The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent pandemic have altered the way we approach the world. From our daily activities to everything, including our passion: diving. This new situation has made us rethink how the new protocols for COVID-19 are going to be.

In CenoteTours we are concerned about protecting everybody from the virus, but also, really worried about the environmental impact that all these new procedures are going to have. 

Diving is an activity that is practiced in teams, and as instructors, physical contact sometimes is inevitable, so we are trying to achieve a balance.

Nowadays there are non official protocols to follow, but a lot of recommendations provided by DAN and diving associations. We developed these guidelines taking them into consideration

BASIC RULES 

  • Wash hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (unless working with compressed gas, especially oxygen-enriched gas).

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer: As most of our divers prefer diving with Nitrox, we need to be really cautious with the use of the sanitizer and then manipulating equipment and/or tanks. Whenever possible, it is preferable to wash hands with soap.

 

  • Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters), and avoid direct contact with other people.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be sure to follow good respiratory hygiene. Cough or sneeze into the elbow or a tissue, and dispose of the tissue right away.
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL

  • It takes only one infected person to spread the virus.  That’s why we will ask our divers to fill a health declaration form. 
  • Also, the number of visitors will be limited to only those who will be participating in diving or related activities.

EQUIPMENT

  • Divers will be encouraged to use their own equipment. This is the best way of avoiding getting infected and spreading the virus.
  • Bringing a personal mouthpiece for the regulator is also highly encouraged. We will have mouthpieces for sale for those who didn’t bring one and want to use a new one.
  • Each diver will have a designated container to store their equipment. They will be in charge of manipulating their gear and avoiding mixing with other divers’ gear.

TRANSPORTATION

BOAT 

  • Respect social distancing and the use of masks will be mandatory during the boat ride. 
  • Divers should try to avoid contact with any equipment that is not their own. 
  • The boat will be disinfected after each tour.

CAR 

  • Maximum ratio of people allowed in the car will be respected in each phase until all the restrictions are lifted. 
  • The use of masks will be mandatory in the car. Each diver should bring their own. 
  • Additionally, after each tour, the car will be disinfected to get it ready for the next day.

BEFORE THE DIVE 

  • Disinfecting hands before manipulating the gear. 
  • Each diver will be responsible for assembling their own gear, avoiding to touch the tank valve.
  • Any pre-dive checks and briefings should be performed while maintaining a proper safe distance between all team members or any bystanders. 
  • Safe distance also applies for any communication that needs to be done on the surface before descending.
  • Discouraging the use of saliva as anti fog. Biodegradable anti fog will be available for those who don’t have their own. 

AFTER THE DIVE 

  • Disinfecting hands before manipulating the gear. 
  • Each diver will be responsible for disassembling their own gear, avoiding touching the tank valve.
  • They will store their equipment in their designated container.

SURFACE INTERVAL

  • Relax and enjoy.
  • We try to reduce the plastic footprint and protect everyone at the same time, therefore, the use of personal reusable water bottles is preferable. We have fancy and reusable CetoteTours water bottles for sale for the ones who forgot theirs at home. Protecting the environment and getting a cool souvenir in one single purchase.
  • Snacks and food will be provided in the most hygienic way possible.

DISINFECTION OF EQUIPMENT

  • All equipment will be disinfected after being used, especially when it comes into contact with mouth, nose and eyes. 
  • All the gear will be disinfected using the proper disinfectant
  • If the rental gear is going to be used by the same diver for several days, it will be labeled and stored separately from the rest of the equipment to avoid cross infections. 

More info: Disinfection of Scuba Equipment and COVID-19 

These are the basic rules to return to our activities. They apply to both  diving tours and training. 

These guidelines are the ones recommended on the date that this article was written, but they are being reviewed constantly for a better approach to the situation we are living in. They are susceptible to change.

Using common sense and never neglecting the security of the fragile environment we visit, are our priorities. And of course, that you have the best experience ever!

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