DIVING NEWS

Divers look to Maldives and Canaries

Blue Voyager. (Picture: Blue O Two)

Welcome news for travelling scuba divers running out of officially approved warmwater destination options as the UK winter approaches is that the Maldives and Spain’s Canary Islands are back among the travel corridors.

Both locations are now on the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s list of countries and territories exempt from advice against “all but essential” international travel, and will also be added to the Department for Transport’s travel-corridor list from tomorrow (25 October), meaning that no quarantine period is required on return.

Divers entering the Maldives can obtain a visa on arrival and must present a privately obtained negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate obtained no more than four days before departure. They must also complete a traveller health declaration form 24 hours before leaving the Maldives.

Temperature checks and screening procedures will be in place on arrival, and local health authorities may conduct random testing, but if clear there are no quarantine restrictions.

Visitors to the Canary Islands are subject to Spanish requirements, which include providing the Ministry of Health with contact information and any history of exposure to Covid-19 online two days before travelling. Passengers are then issued with a personal QR code to show on arrival, when they will be temperature-checked and visually health-assessed.

“We are thrilled with the news that the Maldives has been added to the FCO’s travel safelist,” said UK tour operator Blue O Two, which has trips available from 8 November aboard its own liveaboards Blue Voyager and Blue Spirit.

24 October 2020

“Diving conditions in the Maldives have never been better,” said the company. “We’ve had reports from the resorts that the reefs and coral are stunning in their vibrancy.

“What’s more, the islands and our boats are large enough for social distancing, so you can rest assured you’ll be as safe as if you were at home. After months of waiting, it’s time for us all to go diving!