Roatan Covid Diving
After five long months of quarantining, curfewing, mask wearing, social distancing, zooming, and going through multiple gallons of hand sanitizer , we are all getting the hang of dealing with the present pandemic, and the powers that be have deemed it time to open, and we get to go diving!
Following guidelines mandated by the Government of Honduras, and the recommendations of PADI, and Divers Alert Network (DAN), we at West End Divers have developed a Bio Security Protocol for diving during the Covid 19 disease.
PROCEDURES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Bring your own gear if you are able. Although we have rental gear available, and sanitize it after every use, along with assigning it to an individual guest during their stay, having your own gear provides another level of safety. If not your full kit, consider especially your mask, snorkel, regulator, and wet suit.
AT THE DIVE SHOP
Arriving at the West End Divers you will be greeted by our dedicated Bio-Security Supervisor-BSS- (in real life he is Darwin our hard-working compressor operator). The BSS will ask to take your temperature using an infra-red thermometer, and give you a bit of hand sanitizer. He will also log you into the daily guest book, and we would ask that you tell him when you are leaving for the day.
The dive staff has been trained in sanitation procedures and guidelines, and will be following the approved protocols of hand washing and mask wearing. They will set up all the gear, transport it to and from the shop and boats, and take care of rinsing, sanitizing, and storing.
After checking in, your gear or rental kit will be stored, labeled with your name in our gear room. This area is now only available for access by employees, to maintain gear-distancing. Before the dive, or at your request, your gear will be brought out to you, or set up for you on the boat.
On the Boats
Our boats will be operating with at the most 50% capacity to allow for social distancing. Interior boat surfaces will be sanitized every morning.
The dive staff will transport all gear from storage to the boat, get it on board, and set it up.
As the dive time arrives divers will be called to the boat where they will be met by the BSS who will supply hand sanitizer as they board. Divers should check out their equipment and do last minute checks to make sure all is aboard. We ask our guests not to touch each other’s scuba gear, or to share their gear with anyone, unless in case of dire emergency.
Scientific studies have determined that the chances of becoming infected with the covid-19 novel virus via airborne contamination while scuba diving are literally zero.
Returning to the boat, please give a little space and distancing. Remember that your regulator and especially your mask could be a possible source of contamination, please secure them to your gear kit, or keep them close.
After the dive, our staff will transport the gear back to the shop sanitize masks, snorkels, and regulators in Steramine tablet solution and store them securely away. It is advised that divers should keep their personal masks, regulators and wet suits with them, and stored in their rooms. Should you wish to keep yours at the shop we will secure it to your gear, and if you are using rental wet suits we will assign it to you for the duration of your stay, and store it with your gear. Please do not leave personal items in the shop and lockers overnight to facilitate sanitizing.
Behind the Scenes
Too early in the morning our Bio-Security Supervisor (BSS) arrives and directs his team in the sanitizing of the dive shop and boats. All interactive surfaces are sprayed down and sanitized, including tables, counters, chairs, door knobs, break room, bathroom appliances, and floors. Re-sanitation will occur while divers are out diving. Boats will be sanitized every morning, prior to the start of business.
Petting the Cat.
Cats are not known to be carriers of the novel covid-19 virus. However, with her exterior being in high petting demand, we can only advise to proceed at your own risk, while she advises you to just proceed.
Although there seems to be some debate on social media, wearing a surgical type mouth and nose covering is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 (virus) COVID-19 (disease).
That being said, it is very difficult to maintain 100% mask compliance in an industry involving boats, seawater, and a bunch of scuba divers jumping in and out of either, or both. We strongly advocate the wearing of masks by our guests while in group conditions, along with maintaining distance from others, however we will leave these as personal decisions for our guests, while reminding them to be respectful of others.
Staff will be required to wear masks while around guests and co-workers at all times when feasible.
Presently in the country of Honduras all business must have a dedicated BSS, require masks on clients, take temperature upon entering, and provide hand sanitizer. The population is still on restricted personal travel within the island based on ID numbers. This travel restriction does not apply to tourists and guests.
While Roatan has a modern clinic for treating dive related issues, the country of Honduras is ill-equipped to handle advanced cases of Covid 19, and with new Covid related travel restrictions, medical evacuation is not always a possible alternative.