Dear divers and friends, in view of the turmoils in the world due to the new Coronavirus SARS-COV-2 pandemic, we like to makefollow- ing communication:
We understand that everyone is concerned about the spread of this new virus, we obviously are as well, but we try to act calm and reasonable, and with logic applied as much as possible. Of course, the wellbeing of our guests is our highest concern, and due to the situation, we at Pro Dive International implemented some new rules and procedures, to keep everyone as safe as possible and the risk of infection with this new virus as low as possible.
Fact is, that our state Quintana Roo, until today has only registered one single case of Coronavirus, and which was registered just last night, and in all Mexico there are only 15 confirmed cases, which ranks Mexico as one of the countries with the very lowest infection numbers compared to the vast majority of other countries.
In that sense we like to think that probably you are much safer here in Mexico, with less risk of infection, than in others countries of the world! So, if you planned to travel to us in the soon future, or still are thinking about it and not sure how to decide, please know that we will be welcoming you warmly, and with us you will be in the best possible hands as we take it seriously to keep you safe and with the low risk of infection throughout your stay. Also, we also are adjusting our cancelation policy during this time of unrest, in order to provide the maximum possible flexibility to our guests for travel.
Remember, being in the water diving is probably the best thing you can do, as under water there is no risk of infection! But humoraside, in view of the current situation, we like to update you on the following, plus provide a few facts:
- Until now, the state of Quintana Roo, where most of our dive centers are located, has still only confirmed one single case of Coronavirus Covid19.
- In Mexico in total, so far there are only 15 confirmed cases.
- In the Dominican Republic, where we operate a dive center in Bayahibe, so far only 5 cases of Coronavirus have been registered in the whole country.
- Therefore both MEXICO and the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC are currently in Phase 2 as defined by the WHO (e.g. sporadic cases, more than 1, no clusters)
- The airport of Cancun, as well as other Mexican airports, as well as the airport of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, have not restricted flights from other destinations with very few exceptions.
- In this regard, we recommend to read this very interesting and most actual travel advice communication of the WHO from 29th February, which provides the WHO’s official re commendation fo r international travel and travelers, and which states that with the exception of individuals who are elderly, have chronic diseases or underlying health conditions, restriction of travel is generally NOT advised or recommended, as they are not useful in order to stop the spread or importation of new cases into a country, and consequent- ly the WHO asks the countries to NOT put unnecessary travel bans into place which only create greater damage in social and economic levels of the affected countries: https://www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/updated-who-recommendations-for-international-traffic-in-relation-to-covid-19-outbreak
Sanitation & Disinfection
- We have, obviously, always regularly cleaned and disinfected our equipment in the past, also before the Coronavirus started to spread in the world, however we have reviewed our sanitation procedures, implemented additional regulations and therefore increased sanitation effectivity even further.
- All snorkels, regulator mouthpieces, BCD oral power inflators and masks of our rental equipment inventory, are disinfected after every single use, additionally all of our rental equipment receives complete rinse baths on ra egular basis with an adequate disin- fectingsolution.
- For adequate disinfection, we only use appropriate sanitation products that are officially approved for use against Coronavirus, according to the EPA (UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTEC- TION AGENCY) and which can be verified here: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
- We also provide brand new snorkels (for only USD 6) as well as silicone regulator mouth pieces (USD 10) for purchase in our dive centers, for any guest who is interested in purchasing them in order to not use rental parts.
- We have placed liquid gel hand sanitizer in all of our dive centers, as well into offices for frequent use.
- Our staff has been briefed and recently received a special work- shop by clinic medical staff, to learn about and understand COVID19 and best practices to avoid its unnecessary spread, in application in our work environment which are the diving operations. They get reminded daily and frequently by our managers in the field, to remember to keep up the good practices to avoid spread of the virus. Upholding of our new procedures is constantly monitored in all our facilities by our full time Quality Manager.
- We frequently wipe and disinfect our working areas such as information desks, tables and chairs, etc., as well as items such as pens, clipboards, iPads, cellphones, keyboards , etc.
- We have also implemented stricter disinfecting procedures in our transportation vehicles, such as vans, trucks, and boats which are used for land and ocean tours or airport transports. Handrails, windows, seats and all areas that people touch are being disinfected for every single tour, also the air in the vehicles (vans and trucks) is being sanitized as part of this procedure.
- On our boats, we have stopped to rinse masks in the same buckets pre-diving, we now provide an alternative method to make sure that every mask before diving gets rinsed individually not sharing water with with other masks.
Adjusted Cancellation Policy
Until further notice: Our cancelation policy has not generally changed, but for diving, snorkeling or tours we will apply special courtesy and consideration for cases where official disposition or restriction does not allow the guest to travel as intended, always ifwe receive the cancelation earlier than 24 hours before reservation and if support can be provided that travel has become impossible.This special courte- sy applies for official dispositions imposed by governments or other legal authorities, as well as for cancelation offlights or travel arrange- ment when imposed by the specific travel provider. In such cases we will provide vouchers valid for 3 yearsor full refunds and only deduct our bank fee charge (4.5%). In the case of hotel reservations we depend on the policy of the corresponding hotel, but like to advise you that also most hotels we cooperate with, will apply special courtesy due to the current situation. We hope the above clarifies our extra efforts to keep you safe from the Coronavirus, and encourages you to come dive with us despite the situation.
Remember, the best place to be right now may just be underwater, so let’s go diving!
Warm regards from your team at Pro Dive International.