COVID-19 SAFETY GUIDELINES
COVID-19 SAFETY GUIDELINES
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone worldwide, including scuba divers, and has unleashed changes that seemed unthinkable just a few months ago.
Since we have reopened we have looked for ways to get back to what we love to do the most in the safest possible way. Safety for our staff and our clients have always been a priority for us and now more than ever!
Therefore, to reduce the risk of disease transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dive Cenotes Mexico has implemented the below safety practices based upon recommendation offered by the State of Quintana Roo, Mexico, EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency), DAN (Divers Alert Network) and PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).
By following these guidelines you will help protecting our staff as well as yourself.
1. Dive Cenotes Mexico will be open for confirmed reservations only to avoid any unnecessary traffic in the shop and therefore reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
2. Before your diving date we will provide you with our digital liability release form as well as a COVID-19 Health Declaration Form which will have to be sent back completed and signed before your diving day to reduce the time spent inside the shop.
3. If you are sick, have a fever or have any symptoms associated with coronavirus, DO NOT come to the shop.
4. Only divers with confirmed reservations will be allowed to enter the shop. If you bring your non-diver family or friends they are most welcome but they will not be permitted to enter our shop. However, they are welcome to wait for you in our back yard which they can enter directly from the street.
5. All persons entering the shop or back yard are required to wear a face mask at all times.
6. Before entering the shop you will disinfect your shoes/sandals on a disinfecting matt.
7. Your body temperature will be measured with a digital thermometer as you enter the shop.
8. You will use disinfecting gel as you enter the shop and we encourage you to reapply disinfecting gel regularly but especially after coughing or sneezing.
9. We encourage divers to bring their own equipment or at least their mask and fins. If you will rent our equipment our staff will set up the dive gear for you. Divers who come with their own gear handle their own dive equipment.
10. We will provide transportation from our dive shop to the dive sites and back but encourage our clients to rent a car and follow us to the dive sites.
Disinfection Scuba Equipment
We understand that with the COVID-19 pandemic, you might have concerns about disease transmission when using rental equipment. To make you feel as comfortable and safe as possible Dive Cenotes Mexico has put together a short video to show you how we disinfect our equipment (regulators, masks, snorkels, fins, BCDs, and wetsuit) as a precaution taken against the spread of the disease.
Most importantly, to reduce the impact on our environment, Dive Cenotes Mexico uses a biodegradable disinfectant with hypochlorous acid as active base.
Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid similar to that of a mild citrus juice. It is a powerful oxidant that is effective against invading bacteria, fungi, and viruses including the coronavirus. Hypochlorous acid is 100% safe for humans, chemical free, non-toxic and all natural.
In the US hypochlorous acid is approved for use by the EPA and the FDA. In Europe it is approved through the EU Biocide and CE Mark.
At Dive Sites and in the Water
- Do not touch anyone else’s equipment. Use hand sanitizer regularly, but especially after coughing, sneezing, using the restroom or exiting the water.
- Wear a medical mask at a dive site or whenever you are out of the water. If you do not have a medical mask on, have your scuba mask on and your regulator in your mouth. If this is not feasible, such as when donning a dry suit, attempt to stay 12 feet from other divers.
- Use a defog and do not spit into your masks or into the water. It is unclear whether the virus can be transmitted in these ways, so DAN recommends using tissues and defog.
- All regulators and masks will be disinfected prior to diving/training and stored in sealed plastic bags. A staff member will distribute these items at the dive center. Once you take possession of these items, you are assuming responsibility for keeping these items disinfected while you are using them.
- Avoid touching your tank valve opening or the regulator inlet prior to attaching your regulator to prevent contamination between the tank and regulator.
- Test your alternate air source by pressing the purge button rather than by breathing from the second stage. This is to protect anyone who may need to use your alternate in an out-of-air emergency. Use extra vigilance in avoiding an out-of-air situation as breathing from someone else’s air source could pose a health risk to you.
- Use visual buddy checks with self-demonstration and verbal confirmation only. Do not touch your buddy or your buddy’s equipment.
- Use the low-pressure inflator on your BCD rather than the oral inflator whenever possible. Do not put your mouth on your BCD inflator to test it.
- Keep your regulator in your mouth immediately prior to, during and immediately after the dive to avoid disease transmission. Replace the regulator with your medical mask after exiting the water. We recommend keeping your medical mask in a zip lock bag while you are diving.
- Do not allow your regulator to float in the water. If you must remove your regulator to talk above water, keep your distance from other divers and hold the mouthpiece above the waterline.
- Respect distancing guidelines whenever possible. A good rule of thumb is 6 feet when both divers are wearing a medical mask and 12 feet when your mask is off and you are not breathing from your regulator.
- Each diver will be responsible for disassembling their own gear, avoiding touching the tank valve.
- Divers will store their equipment in their designated container.
As the COVID-19 causes concern over plastic pollution it is especially important to reduce the plastic footprint and protect everyone at the same time. Therefore, we recommend the use of personal reusable water bottles. For those who forgot theirs at home, we have reusable “A Message in a Bottle – Love Mexico” water bottles for sale. This way you can contribute protecting the environment and getting a souvenir in one single purchase.
“A Message in a Bottle” is a non-profit initiative of local business owners and individuals with the commitment to preserving the eco-systems and to making a positive impact on the local communities with the commitment to promote a culture of caring for the environment by encouraging our local communities as well as the millions of visitors coming to our State each year to change their habit of using bottled water with the use of a refillable water bottle to help reduce the quantity of disposable plastic bottle waste contaminating our pristine beaches, oceans, cenotes, jungle, and streets.