Returning to diving after the SARS-COV-2 pandemic….
We’ve had an abundance of enquiries and questions regarding diving now that restrictions are being eased. Not just “Can I dive if I’ve had covid-19?” but also questions like “Should I still be cautious?” and “What are you guys doing to help protect students & divers from it?”
We’re no experts on the matter so we’ve found some trusted articles that you can have a read through and we’ll tell you all about what we are doing while the restrictions are still easing.
At the very start of the worldwide pandemic very little was known about Covid-19 and its effects. Not just its effects on scuba divers & diving, but the effects of the impact of our lives medically, physically and emotionally. With it spreading quickly, and in most cases leaving a devastating trail of destruction for families and humans alike, the world was put into a lockdown and restrictions were put into place. 12 months later we’re only just starting to see the restrictions easing…
Within several months research was showing that the effects of Covid-19 can be damaging to the heart & lungs and that you can even have it without even realising! Although we still have little information on the long-term effects of Covid-19 DAN (Divers Alert Network) have updated their guidelines for divers who are concerned about returning to diving.
The Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine Society published an informative article on the risks of scuba divers following the recovery from Covid-19.
If you are concerned in any way, shape or form about diving after Covid-19 it is highly recommended to contact an authorised/insured diving physician to discuss your concerns and have a medical carried out where possible.
However, if you do plan on diving with us or partaking in a PADI course with us we would require you to complete a PADI RSTC medical statement form. If you answer ‘YES’ to any of the questions YOU WILL NEED to get the medical statement completed and signed off by an authorised/insured GP. If you require one of these forms please contact us to obtain one and do not book onto any events or courses until you have seen a doctor.
Preventing the spread and feeling safer.
There’s many recommendations out there that we’ve been adhering to for over 12 months now:
- Social distance by 2m from others
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.
- Wear a face mask over your nose and mask. Read all about what masks are effective and how to wear them properly & safely HERE - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
- Avoid air-sharing or regulator exchanges unless it is an emergency. For training courses our students will be briefed on how to do this safely beforehand.
- While doing your buddy checks make sure your buddy checks your octo, as it is them that will be using it (potentially).
- Use mask defog, not spit!
- Disinfect all your equipment after use and allow it to dry thoroughly before you store it.
What are we (Dorset Diving) doing to help prevent the spread of Covid-19?
We require EVERYONE to wear a face mask whilst in the centre and indoors whilst training. We have hand sanitisers in several places around the centre for you to use.
We do ask that people refrain from picking up/touching items that they don’t intend on buying. If anything is touched it is wiped over with antibacterial wipes. All our masks are in their own sealed boxes, we have a demo mask of each product that is thoroughly washed down and wiped after each person tried it on.
All surfaces are cleaned down at the end of every day, including door handles. Our POS system is wiped with an antibacterial wipe after every use.
All our school equipment is disinfected after every use.
When we are training, we provide hand sanitiser and mask defog to all students and team members.
All of our students are required to use their own mask and snorkels for hygiene reasons.
During training we encourage and remind all students to social distance where possible (it’s not always easy when learning to dive!) and make sure they are wearing their face masks!
We hire a big hard boat for regular boat diving from Poole Quay. Numbers were low at the start of the dive season, but now the restrictions have eased numbers have increased. Whilst on the boat divers are encouraged to social distance and are reminded to wear masks and be cautious of their actions.
When the weather improves, we will be starting up our shore diving again. We will encourage small buddy groups and ask them to keep their distance from other groups. We will not be doing our usual beach BBQs after the dives just yet.
Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you in the water very soon!