Sep 2020

Diving After COVID-19. Where Can You Travel After Lockdown Ends?

By Elena Vivaldo

The last few months have been frustrating for divers, forced to stay on dry land and ignore the calling of the sea. Is this what a fish out of water feels? You’re probably wondering if you’ll ever be able to go diving after COVID-19.

We’ve seen divers resort to all sorts of coping strategies, from donning their dive gear and binge-watch documentaries to reading diving blogs. And for those keen to take a stroll down memory lane, watching old photos and videos seems numb their pain, taking them back to a time when social distancing was unheard of and the ocean was their playground.

Do you still remember what it feels like to breathe underwater? That first intake of breath as you open your eyes to the magical underwater world? It’s hard to forget that feeling we ALL know too well.

But if lockdown has taught us anything, it’s this: whether you’re a newbie or a pro, we’re all in the same boat, in need for some guidance and help to travel post-COVID-19 and get our fins back in the water.

PLUS, the lockdown has given nature the chance to recover and prosper in all its wild beauty. So if there is a time to get back into the water, it’s now!

Dive Compare has carefully selected a few countries around the world where you can travel post-COVID-19. Depending on where you live, however, these may not be possible options for you. As for any holiday abroad, follow your government’s travel advice and check the airline routes.

Here it goes, diving after COVID-19 – the places you can scuba dive after lockdown ends…

Europe

At the moment, there are quarantine-free countries where you can travel post-COVID-19, and yes, also scuba dive.

1) Italy

There are very few countries that capture the traveller’s imagination like Italy does. Italy’s reputation for “la dolce vita” (the sweet life) can be found both on land, between works of art and culinary delights, and underwater, with its clear waters and diverse dive sites.

Regarded as one of the best diving destinations in the Mediterranean, Sardinia is not to be missed. Divers won’t be disappointed by the historical wrecks, caves and the beautiful marine life.

diving in sardinia after covid

2) Portugal

You can make your holiday to Portugal what you want it to be, a beach gateway, a cultural and history tour, or a happy mix of the two. There’s plenty to satisfy everybody. The same goes for diving after COVID-19.

Facing the Atlantic Ocean, you can expect some amazing diving possibilities (and chilly waters), but scuba diving in Portugal is both rewarding and exciting.

Portugal has its fair share of shipwrecks and submarines that are unmatched anywhere else in the world.

For pelagic lovers, head to the Azores, where you’re bound to have some unexpected encounters with the likes of blue sharks and mobula rays.

diving azores after covid

Caribbean

Regarded as a prime diving destination, the Caribbean is ideal for all levels of experience.

1)  Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is more than beautiful stretches of sand. Here, you’ll also find rainforests and a rich cultural heritage worthy of any nature lover and history buff.

And when it comes to scuba diving in the Dominican Republic, the country has it all: healthy reefs, shipwrecks, and humpback whales. Depending on your certification level and comfort, you can explore different dive sites situated on different coasts.

Where to scuba dive after lockdown ends

2) Jamaica

If you want to wind down and get the feel-good vibe typical of the Caribbean, you can’t beat Jamaica, where the beaches are white, and the music is good.

Likewise, the diving scene in Jamaica is incredible, taking scuba diving after COVID-19 to the height of excellence. There’s something for everybody, both in terms of marine life (from critters to sharks), and dive sites (from deep to wreck diving).

Travel post-COVID-19

Middle East

The Middle East is a world-class diving destination, with the Red Sea taking centre stage. Scuba diving after lockdown in the Red Sea is sure to excite divers from all backgrounds.

Jordan

Packed with world-heritage sites, Jordan has always had a magnetic pull on visitors, who come from all over the world to experience Jordan’s unique culture and hospitality.

Although with only a narrow opening on the Red Sea, Jordan is blessed with clear and coral-rich waters. Scuba diving in Jordan is known for its number of wrecks easily accessible from the shore. Aqaba’s underwater military museum is a unique feature that cannot be found elsewhere. Don’t miss it!

Diving after COVID-19 Jordan

Asia

With the outbreak of the coronavirus in Asia, many countries have closed their borders to international travel and, consequently, diving after COVID-19 is not yet possible.

But there are a handful of countries that you can travel to post-COVID-19, turning your wildest scuba diving dreams into reality.

Maldives

Secretly, we all dream of staying overnight in a shopping centre to experience a (forbidden) sense of freedom.

This is what it feels like to scuba dive in the Maldives after the lockdown ends. The once crowded dive sites are now free, letting you bask in exclusive dive sites teeming with marine life of all shapes and sizes.

A photographer’s dream, scuba diving in the Maldives involves pristine reefs and many shark species. It’s also one of the few places in the world where you can spot manta rays!

Regardless of where you decide to scuba dive after the lockdown ends, be prepared for diving-related COVID-19 safety protocols. If you don’t already have your dive gear, we highly recommend you invest in your own set. Buying your dive gear has never been more worth it. Read our blog for advice in choosing your dive equipment, from mask to fins.

Being extra cautious should not put you off diving. With some careful planning, you can make the most of the situation and go diving after COVID-19 to explore never-before-seen sights of some of the world’s best dive sites.

Where will your first dive be after the lockdown ends? Let us know what’s on your scuba diving radar!

As always, safe diving.

 

Photo credit(s): Jernej Furman, richie rocket, GPA Photo Archive, Regina Hart, Enrico Strocchi, Tchami, Antonio Busiello, Gerard Soury 

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Elena Vivaldo

One thing's for sure, I slowly drifted into becoming a PADI instructor.
I took my first breath underwater when I was 10 while on holiday in Turkey, and got my open water certification at 16, in Thailand.

Initially, diving was simply something I enjoyed doing while on holiday, but at some point, I decided to up my game and to make something out of it. I've always loved travelling, and diving gave me the freedom to travel and work at the same time. So I took my first step towards becoming a PADI pro, and I did my divemaster internship in Tenerife. I worked on the island for a few months before heading to India to further hone my diving skills.

Years later, and with many dives under my weight belt, I've had the great opportunity to introduce people to the underwater world and to explore many exciting dive destinations. There is nothing I like more than seeing new dive sites around the world (my weakness).

When not teaching, I continue to share my love for diving by writing about it. As a copywriter, I can blend my diving and writing skills to create insightful content. But more importantly, I've found a way to stay connected to the world beneath the waves even when I'm out of the water.

Diving Qualifications:
- PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
- PADI Speciality Instructor: deep, wreck, night, enriched air, O2
- EFR Instructor
- Scubapro Level 1 Technician

Dream Diving Destinations:
- Palau
- Cenotes, Mexico
- Galapagos
- Vancouver Island, Canada
- Sardine Run, South Africa
- Mass coral spawning, Great Barrier Reef