• Aurora Team

Vacation countries 2020, reopening information for diving travel - Egypt, Maldives, Southeast Asia

Now at the beginning of July and as the high season of summer vacations comes around. The world is still generally in the unknown of travel restrictions. For those of you hoping to travel, and indeed get some amazing diving in. Post-COVID-19 travel restrictions are taking longer for the bigger nations with higher densely populated areas. Bringing you an update of how things look in some of the world's busiest dive locations, and when you can expect to don your beautiful women diving wetsuit again.



Ready to travel Southeast Asia after Covid-19?


Countries in Asia as well as Egypt and The Maldives, all of which are starting to prepare for tourism and release important travel updates. Some may be more accessible earlier than thought whilst others struggle to overcome the severity of the COVID-19 waves that continue to reappear. We looked at the Caribbean region in our first look at the international opening. Of which they look to be under more control than some of their counterpart countries, in terms of official information released and protocols announced. Maybe down to the size, and population allowing them more control and implementation of their protocols.


For those of us who are starting to feel the dry gills we currently have and thinking how to get jump back into diving. We do also have to think carefully and clearly how and what is the risk of the destination we choose. Continue reading below to see how soon you can be suiting up in scuba, women's diving wetsuit or diving leggings, and head into the wonderworld of our oceans.

Although it is important to remember that travel will not be exactly as it was post-COVID-19. Taking additional precautions and care is advised where ever you do plan to jet off to. Aurora wetsuits bring you the latest information available to these amazing diving regions. Always make sure you stay up to date upon whichever destination you choose. Check your nation's travel information and take extra care of any international movement after borders are opened.


Egypt


The land of the ancient pharaohs, the mystical waters of the river Nile and with ease of access to the jewel of diving, the Red Sea. Egypt has some much to offer to us divers, offering magnificent creatures and unforgettable encounters with Dolphins, Turtles, Historical Wrecks, and Rich vibrant coral reefs. Pair this with the history of the country and the fact you can get up close and personal with it. Visit the Pyramids and take a journey through land, sand dunes, and desert all await you. Travel light, be prepared for lots of sun, sand, and warm clear blue waters. Grab your diving leggings or shorty wetsuit and let's go dive into the details of Egypt's reopening.




Reopening for Egypt has already begun and international tourism was officially sanctioned and started on July 1st. With tourism opening, Egypt did set out restrictions to specific regions that are allowed to open, fear not water lovers. Luckily for us avid divers, the regions open are Southern Sinai home to popular resort destinations, Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab. Along with The Red Sea Province, Hurghada, and Marsa Alam both of which are situated within the region. The final region announced was Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean sea in the north. Yes, that's right, All are located on the amazing coastline, ideal for sun-seekers, beach lovers, and last but not least all you mermazing divers.


Hotel resort choice will be limited as the phased opening continues. Currently, it is only possible to stay in low-risk hotels and resorts of which have been preapproved by the Egyptian government of having COVID-19 under control. Private resort beaches will be open, external public beaches will remain closed, to control the movement, and reduce the risk for locals and tourists alike.


Entry Requirements

Unfortunately, exact information on which nationalities are clear to enter was unavailable, we suggest contacting your local embassy before any travel plans are made. What we do know so far is the requirement to submit a valid health insurance policy for your stay to the Egyptian airport authorities upon airport entry. Nothing has been noted in regard to a negative COVID-19 test result being needed.


What can you expect during your stay in Egypt?

  • Hotels will run at a maximum occupancy of 50%

  • Restaurants and cafes have been reduced to 25% capacity

  • Shops and malls will be open until 9 pm

  • Public transport is running again, limited between 9 am and midnight

  • Cultural facilities will be open accordingly to 25% capacity


Does Egypt sound right for you? We do hope that Egypt follows fellow countries opening up and takes the utmost care and precaution to care for its international visitors. A country with a high tourism trade on its stunning coastal resorts. We hope to enjoy this and together look forward to a bright future.


The Maldives


The gem of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives will be reopening its borders for tourism on July 15th. A beautiful diving paradise, it has so much to offer us mermaids. Made up of 1,190 pristine coral islands and 26 magnificent atolls. Heavily reliable on tourism, honeymooners, and divers come from around the globe to enjoy the privacy and beauty that's on offer. Interested to know more? Check out our blog Top encounters to witness in the Maldives and take a closer look at what you could see.



The Maldives reopening was announced by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Flights will resume and tourists of all nationalities will be welcome. Eager to allow tourism to restart, provide well-needed work, and respite for the nation's citizens. The Maldives tourism sector is roughly 28% of its GDP, the year so far is has had a catastrophic impact. In order to restrict the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 or the health of the locals and visitors. Tourists will only be allowed to stay in resorts until the later date of august 1st. Following which phase will be implemented and budget hotels also known as guest houses will be allowed to reopen.

Entry requirements to be enforced by The Maldives

Upon arrival, all visitors must undergo thermal screening. Complete a Health declaration card upon entry to airport officials. Facial masks must be worn throughout your flight and mandatory within airports and travel within the Maldives. For now, all visitors entering will be granted a free 30-day visa upon arrival. There is no date known for how long, make sure to keep up to date before travel. Accurate as of writing, July 7th, 2020. Any tourist showing COVID-19 symptoms may be subject to testing upon arrival.


A step forward to being able to dive the amazing delight of the Maldives. Don't forget your Aurora women's wetsuit, dive in style, and be comfortable as a fish in the water. Then enjoy your lazy afternoons as you enjoy a tropical palm tree and white beaches with amazing privacy.



Thailand


Part of the famous golden triangle, the land of the smiles and hotspot for international travelers. Thailand is a warm welcoming place that offers an amazing cultural aspect as well as diving. Not only is their diving year-round due to the west and east coast having rotating monsoon seasons. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities, search a bargain, and pickups some special finds in the markets of Bangkok. Take a vow of silence and indulge in Buddhism retreat, or just explore the many temples Thailand has to offer. Into something a little more blood pumping, learn the art of Muay Thai boxing, originating from here you are in the best place to get into it. Tourists of all forms converge on this magnificent country to follow their passion or journey of interest. Make new friends, a lot of whom continue to travel on together.


Thailand recently entered a soft opening on its international borders. Unfortunately, at this moment, there is no decided date for international tourism to restart. Step by step plans have started and international airports are now open and flights resuming since July 1st. Repatriation flights for Thai citizens and residents are now possible along with entry to a limited list of criteria. This includes but may not be limited to Educational, employment, business visa holders, and also medical tourism.


As of writing this blog, the goal seems to be working towards an August 1st date. One strategy Thailand is looking at is already known in the surrounding region, referred to as the "tourism bubble". The general idea would be to open its borders with reciprocal flights to countries that have COVID-19 under control also. A further study by the Thai tourism board is being prepared for possible long staycation deals. Offering tourists the chance to visit select areas of the nation. Allowing health monitoring to be controlled and both local and tourist health risks reduced. Current regions that are being thought about are some of Thailand's most popular tourist destinations. Krabi, Phi Phi, and Surat Thani regional islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangnan, and Koh Tao being chosen. Procedures and protocols for this to be finalized are being drawn up. The CCSA (the center of COVID-19 situation administration) has to be sure this idea be plausible and safe. Hopefully, this will be approved and divers around the world can once again safely dive within Thailand's beautiful waters. Whilst being within the reduced risk area of the tourist bubble.


Thailand has enforced strict measures during the pandemic, recording a pretty low count of 3,402 COVID-19 cases and 57 deaths in total. Good standing in terms of the nation's size and in comparison to other countries seems to have avoided a severe outbreak.


Thinking of Thailand as your next diving getaway? Heading to the east or west coast? A question that is always a hot topic between divers and travelers alike. Do remember to be prepared and travel accordingly, diving conditions and water temperatures can differ several degrees from dry to monsoon season. During monsoon season a make sure you take along your women's long wetsuit as waters can be on the cooler side. Diving can still be magnificent around the island of Koh Tao and should not be missed. Chances to see one of the many resident turtles, a passing whaleshark, or the gulf of Thailand's best dive site Sail rock. A place that is great for beginner divers through to experienced.


Looking for additional tips on diving in Thailand? Get in touch with our ambassadors Elisabeth and Andrea who are at home in these waters.




The Philippines


Home to some of the world's best diving, The Philippines offers a great experience diving on pristine reefs, lush coral gardens, rare critters, or the magical mantas and whalesharks. Receiving millions of divers every year, 2020 has seen a huge struggle for this nation of islands and its people. Sadly The Philippines currently has no date set or planned for reopening tourism travel. International flights are currently flying and only for the return of Filipino's from around the world back home. With an upward struggle to contain the virus and withstand further waves and outbreaks, populated areas remain on lockdown or under restrictions. We do hope the situation will soon improve, not only for the diving but most importantly for the local people. Once borders open we are sure people will be once again flocking to the Philippines and the tourism will rise again.


Aurora wetsuits are wishing everyone around the world good health and to stay safe during the ease of restrictions. We are all eager to travel, though we must never forget that health and safety is of the utmost importance. SO on that note, we remind you all to make sure you stay updated and track any changes to countries you wish to travel. Safe travels, fun diving, and enjoy your adventure.