THE RED SEA IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS, TRAVEL, DIVING & PLEASURE:
GOING TO CAIRO :
Egypt is open for travel and tourism and has been for awhile. Covid policies and practices evolve as time goes on so monitor this topic periodically so you know the latest updates. (We will periodically send them via the TRIP PM so make sure you are getting them as they are your lifeline for trip information.)
As of Feb 2021:
- Antigen Rapid test is not accepted, only PCR test results are allowed for country entry or departure.
- Test should be made maximum 72 hours from traveling date and results received within the same 72 hrs prior to INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT since your domestic flight is not connected in the system to the charter flights. If you are booking your own flights you will need to factor this in.
- It should be a negative PCR test result stamped by the government stamp to be able to board the departure flight (My understanding is that this is done by an agent for the carrier before we depart)
IN THE COUNTRY:
ON THE BOAT:
COVID-19 HEALTH & SAFETY DURING LIVEABOARD DIVING Updated: October 2020
For the last 33 years, Explorer Ventures has researched, implemented, and strengthened safety protocols to ensure that our guests are able to enjoy their diving vacation. As we welcome guests back, we have further augmented our practices to improve on health and safety measures that address changing requirements amidst COVID-19. The following information is based on what we know today – but best practices and the information on which they are based change rapidly, and we intend for our plans to be fluid enough to accommodate new information. We will continue to monitor the latest trends and will adapt our operations and this document based on new insights and our experiences and refine this plan not only in the Caribbean but in Galapagos and with our other partners worldwide.
As of this update (October 2020), traveling requires a negative PCR test prior to departure, and most destinations require health checks during your stay. While ideally, such screening will give us a high degree of confidence that our arriving guests are COVID-free, we are prepared if such (relative) clarity doesn’t exist in order to safeguard our guests and crew.
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Our crew members are working hard for guests’ arrival. Our new operational protocols include several pre-emptive boarding and cleanliness measures that affect the guest's journey from arrival to departure, including additional health and well-being requirements across all points of contact on the vessels.
Environmental consciousness remains at the heart of what we do; you can read our Dive Green strategy here. Where possible, we’re sourcing approved cleaning agents that are also eco-friendly, as well as evolving COVID-19 policies to reduce potential environmental impact. We continue to adapt these strategies to keep both our guests and the ocean’s safety top of mind.
Read a complete list of our health and safety liveaboard protocols below.
- Vessel evaluation: We have completed an evaluation and continue to assess points of guest contact. This has resulted in the integration of heightened hygiene practices across key points - starting from the moment guests arrive at the gangway through the entirety of their onboard vacation experience. These points include the salons, guest rooms, galley, food and beverage experiences, housekeeping and laundry, public bathrooms, dive deck and dive platform.
- Temperature & Covid Checks: Precautionary temperature and oxygen checks for both crew and guests may be done daily at some destinations. Guest will be required to take negative PCR tests before arriving at their destination.
- Boarding: To help ensure that all team members and guests stay healthy, all staff are required to wear face masks during check-in, when screening guest temperatures, during meal service, in public areas inside the vessel, and when off the vessel and at other times as may be necessary. Bags and shoes will also be fogged in pre-boarding.
- Masks: Guests are encouraged to wear masks as is practical and we suggest the use of reusable masks. Masks made from recycled ocean plastics have been provided to the staff and are available onboard for guest purchase.
- Briefings: Guest welcome and daily briefings include reminders on best practices for safety, handwashing, avoiding illness, and on our Green Fins and Dive Green programs.
- Social Distancing: Social distancing practices are encouraged so that guests maintain a safe social distance whenever possible while sustaining the relaxed experience our trips are known for. This includes spacing guests out on the dive deck as much as possible, asking that guests keep control of regulators and masks on the way to the exits and on the way to their lockers upon returning from their dives, and replacing handshakes with a nod and a smile.
- Dining: The guest dining experience has been modified to limit contact points of normal buffet service. Typical food service is now plated, with servers wearing gloves and masks during all meal services. Any guest who chooses not to eat with the group in the salon may have the meal served on the sun deck. Guests will be asked to wash hands before meals and limit contact.
- Provisions: Local vendors and suppliers are be required to have minimal physical contact, and we sanitize all touchpoints, including equipment, and remove all outer packing upon arrival.
- Land Tours & Taxis: We have worked with our shore support companies to ensure that transfers are done in accordance with new recommendations for cleanliness and decontamination. All tours have been put on hold for the time being. The Friday night dinners ashore are planned to accommodate cleanliness and distancing expectations.
- Crew Training: Crew have been trained in appropriate Covid-19 cleaning and disinfection procedures from accredited organizations.
- Disinfection: Cleaning, disinfection and sanitation are repeated multiple times daily, with a minimum of three inspections daily. These inspections and targeted cleaning steps include hard surfaces such as door handles and handrails and include public restrooms, salon tables, and chairs as well as other high-touch surfaces. Interior areas of the vessels are fogged weekly with disinfectant.
- Chemical Agents: Simple Green Pro 3 and Vital Oxide are the primary cleaning agents used for disinfection and fogging. Both agents are Covid-19 approved and are biodegradable keeping environmental impact top of mind.
- Room Cleaning: Daily room cleaning service is offered but stressed as optional if guests would prefer not to have others in their room at all. When cleaning staff use gloves and mask. As always, staterooms are cleaned thoroughly between charters.
- Linens: Our dive towel system has been altered to limit the potential for cross-contamination. As always, careful cleaning and sanitizing of cabin linens and towels is a priority. Cleaning of linens is optional should guests decline the service.
- Air Purification: UV-C lights have been installed for purification of air conditioning system.
- Handwashing: Additional handwashing and hand sanitizing stations are provided for guests and crew members throughout the vessels. Handwashing is emphasized before sanitizer to reduce environmental impact from both the chemical and plastics.
- Rinse Tanks: Mask rinse tanks have been eliminated in favor of running water rinses. Gear rinse tanks are treated to avoid cross-contamination of dive gear. Simple Green Pro 3 is used.
- Rental Gear: All gear is sanitized between rentals and handled carefully to reduce potential contamination.
Some of these altered procedures may temporarily impact the level of customer service, guest interaction and accommodation for which the Explorer Ventures Fleet is known. While each vessel and operation is different, some challenges are universal. Our vessels have room for only a certain number of crew and guests meaning social distancing can be difficult to maintain. Also, additional crew responsibilities may limit their time available with guests. While our goal remains to deliver an exceptionally good experience to every guest, diving holidays in today's ‘norm’ requires some flexibility on the part of both guests and crew.QUESTIONS?
If you wish to room with someone who has rec'd the Moderno or Astra Zenica Gene Therapy protocols we will do our best to room you with someone else who has also received them. Send a trip to email@example.com to let us know this is important to you and we'll make every effort to room you with someone else who has taken these shots. Alternatively you can add this to your online documentation SPECIAL REQUEST form and we'll get that info there as well. You do not need to do both.
RETURNING TO THE US OR HOME:
As of Jan 26th the US now requires all travelers entering the US including residents returning home to test "NEGATIVE" to enter. To facilitate this our hotel which we will spend our last night in before our flights to JFK will either transport us to the testing facility with plenty of time to get the results back OR they will have the testers come to the hotel and test us there. NO diving will be lost to do the testing and RESULTS will be back timely for our return flights.
- Currently there are some laboratories in Cairo who started to do tests with a bit cheaper rates on average NOTE: THIS WILL IMPROVE AS MORE PEOPLE TRAVEL Current P/P USD 190 providing within 24 hours results, and they can send someone to hotels to do the test currently for an extra charge (Approximately per test 25 to 35 dollars) NOTE: We are trying to get a group rate for the tester to come to us.
- Also there is another private lab where I am currently checking its details and whether their services are available in upper Egypt or not yet, where clients can apply directly for the test on their website and pay. For the fees online (approximately P/P USD 150) and possibly pay for the hotel visit on the spot (extra charge applies) Client can send us the confirmation of application then we can follow with the lab to reconfirm date and time. Client receive the result through application on Mobile, this one would be helpful too for some grps.
Please feel free to ask questions below in this topic or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Edited by WreckWench, 23 April 2021 - 03:08 PM.