As Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences gears up to carefully reopen from July 16th onwards, the private island’s five-star dive centre has revealed new Covid-19 guidelines for guests who can’t wait to get back in the water. The coronavirus pandemic has temporarily changed life for everyone – and scuba divers are no exception! So Amilla’s Dive Centre, operated by luxury dive firm, Dive Butler International, is implementing protocols aimed at protecting the health and safety of Amilla’s divers.
These protocols will help reduce the chances of coronavirus transmission and give divers more peace of mind, knowing that hygiene and cleanliness is at the forefront of all the Dive Centre’s operations. The dive team also realises some of the guests they’ll be welcoming back will have already recovered from Covid-19. So they are following the latest guidance from Divers Alert Network (DAN) Europe, PADI and World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) on how to help get them back blowing bubbles again as safely as possible.
Amilla’s Dive Centre staff have trained in Covid-19 disinfection techniques for scuba equipment, wetsuits and communal areas. They have also revised their check-in procedures, which now include temperature checks. In addition, they have also limited the number of guests on each dive boat to increase physical distancing between those on board.
Some Amilla guests may have recovered from Covid-19, and will be itching to head out into the blue again. The dive team is ready to support them in getting back in the water as safely as possible by following regulations recommended by scuba and medical authorities. Therefore, the team is politely requesting that any guests who have recovered from Covid-19 undergo a medical examination by a dive doctor before they travel to the Maldives. They must then present Amilla’s Dive Centre staff with a letter from their dive doctor stating they are fit enough to scuba.
This is for their own safety, since many people who’ve had Covid-19 can have pulmonary damage or take several months to recover, even they were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms and appear to have returned to normal. This damage could place them at higher risk of lung barotrauma injuries while scuba diving, so the dive team wants to ensure they’re fit to dive before they dive at Amilla.
According to the latest advice from DAN Europe, divers who have tested positive for Covid-19 but remained asymptomatic should wait one month before resuming diving. Those who did display coronavirus symptoms should wait at least three months before applying for the fit-to-dive clearance conducted by a diving medicine specialist. Anyone unfortunate enough to have been hospitalised with breathing issues relating Covid-19 should wait at least three months before seeing a dive doctor for complete pulmonary function testing, an exercise test and a high-resolution CT lung scan. Those who had cardiac problems in relation to Covid-19 should also wait at least three months before applying for fit-to-dive clearance, including cardiac evaluation, echocardiography and exercise electrocardiography. The Divers Alert Network can offer advice on finding a qualified dive doctor.
Those divers who have received the green light to scuba from their dive doctor at home and have presented proof of it to the Dive Centre at Amilla will then be asked to fill in the standard PADI medical statement that all divers complete before embarking on a dive. They will need to tick “yes” in the box under the question, “Have you ever had or do you currently have any form of lung disease?”. In addition, all divers from now on will now also need to fill in a second Health Declaration Form which specifically addresses the Covid-19 crisis. It was designed by DAN Europe and it’s essential that they answer these questions honestly, as it could affect their diving insurance in the unlikely event of there being an incident. For the last step in this well-thought-out procedure, the Resort Doctor will drop by to see them and give final approval for them to dive.
Amilla has created a Covid-19 resource hub online which includes many frequently asked questions about Covid-19 and resort operations, including questions about diving at Amilla as well as the resort’s rigorous Covid-19 prevention strategies. Amilla’s reopening comes as manta season starts to get underway in Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, with many exciting surprises anticipated due to the lack of tourists over the past few months.
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