Scuba Diving New Normal For A Hopeful Return In June
Hopefully scuba diving will return to Phuket around the 18th June but a new normal will have to be observed. Thailand seems to be doing exceptionally well combating the spread of COVID-19 and a plan to slowly start up the economy from the 03rd May has been put into place. All being well on the 18th June, the final group of businesses which include scuba diving can restart. It’s absolutely not a guaranteed date. Every stage of the plan has to work perfectly for Local Dive Thailand to operate on 18th June but we have our fingers firmly crossed. We’re all itching to get back into the ocean as we’re sure you are.
Lots Of Things To Consider
To be able to operate as safely as possible in the current situation we’ll have to implement a number of changes. For our guests we’ll try to make this as unintrusive as possible but we’ll of course need your help. DAN have recently released guidelines that can help facilitate the scuba diving new normal so we’re taking the lead from them and combining with local measures. DAN also released an extremely informative video regarding cleaning equipment which can be found here.
There’s a lot to consider but if you love diving as much as we do then a little inconvenience is worth it to see our underwater friends again.
Some of the measures we’ll have to take:
- vehicles interiors to be cleaned with alcohol solution before and after pier runs
- 6 guests max per minivan (unless large group of friends)
- Sanitising hand gel to be administered by driver upon entry and exit of vehicle
- Walk to and from boat along pier if pink buses are busy
- Reduced Number of Guests
- Along with normal daily cleaning, all handrails, handles etc to be cleaned with alcohol solution regularly
- Sanitising hand gel readily available
- Face masks to be worn whenever practically possible (local law)
- Reduce amount of divers on dive deck at any one time
As all who’ve dived with us know, our equipment is exceptionally well maintained. We already rinse everything in disinfectant after every use and we’ll obviously continue to do so. Any repaired equipment will also be disinfected before going back into circulation. All of our equipment is numbered so please make sure you keep a track on your rental equipment and not accidentally use anybody else’s.
What You Can Do
Masks and regulators are the key areas of concern so we highly recommend that you purchase your own as soon as possible. Bring your own mask defogger, using spit will have to go on hold and we’ll have to take the rinse bucket off the boat for the time being. Use the spray guns at the back of the boat or rinse off masks on the surface before descending.
Buddy checks will still have to be completed but with a small change. Go through the buddy check on your own equipment with your buddy watching but not touching. This is something you can practice at home before the dive trip.
Practice social distancing (sorry but no more hugs from Phil). Our boat is spacious anyway but with reduced numbers it should be even easier. We always have plenty of food for everyone so there’s no need to form a queue at meal times, just be a little patient.
Booking Your Trip
If you do want to drop by our Patong shop or Chalong headquarters then please feel free to do so but not in large groups. Everything can be arranged very easily by email or telephone so the preferred method of contact would be firstname.lastname@example.org, FB message or simply call +66(0)76-384-285 (office), +66(0)860240115 (Justin) or +66(0)818946383 (Noon)
How Will It Affect My Day?
We certainly it won’t detract from your enjoyment of diving with us but we understand that these measures maybe be irritating for some. No matter what your thoughts on current pandemic measures, we have no choice but to abide by the Thai government’s advice.
We will try some practice runs with staff to get things running as soon as possible. We’re currently entering the green season in Phuket so we’re considering changing our schedule and only running two dives per day (with a reduced cost) until high season. Three dives per day is quite exhausting, especially with the green season swell and we think two dives at a cheaper price may be suitable for everyone.
We’re in the early stages of planning and plenty may change between now and the 18th June so we’ll keep you informed as much as possible. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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