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February 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 48, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Traveling Divers are Quarantined

and yet, no COVID testing is allowed

from the February, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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COVID seems to be hitting scuba divers hard, especially those who take liveaboards. It's not a problem unique to traveling divers. The U.S. State Department has warned travelers to make contingency plans and prepare for testing and possible quarantine requirements of both the U.S. and foreign governments. And to get COVID insurance.

We received reports from several of our readers who have encountered COVID problems on their dive trips that we'd like to share:

Quarantined But No Place to Go

John Morgan (Phoenix, AZ) discovered that it was obligatory to buy COVID insurance as part of the Health Visa on entering the Bahamas. His Christmas trip on the liveaboard AquaCat (we wrote about their problems in the January issue) was spoiled when the COVID infection managed to get through, despite everyone involved being vaccinated.

"Twelve days in paradise, stuck in a room."

The problem was exacerbated when it became apparent that the Bahamas authorities had made no provision for the accommodation of quarantined foreigners. And Nassau hotels were reluctant to take anyone who might be infected. In the last issue, we wrote erroneously that the passengers had been put up at Small Hope Bay; John told us that he and the other AquaCat passengers ended up in a house owned by a friend of the AquaCat owner, with only beds for half the number of guests. Some had to make do with sofas and armchairs, which was less than optimal.

Morgan said, "We boarded Saturday, and I started showing symptoms Tuesday night. They say the Omicron [variant] has a fairly short incubation. I probably got it from a fellow diver or crew member shortly after I boarded. After all, none of us were wearing masks, and we were eating pretty close together at the tables every meal. The chef was one of the two people to test positive on Wednesday. I am very glad I had been vaccinated and boosted. I'm convinced it made my symptoms mild and the recovery quick. Being sick and stuck in [another] country is no fun."...

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