From 3rd August 2021 Tourism activities re-open in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In view of the steady decline in cases of COVID-19 in Andaman Nicobar Islands an order has been issued by the Director of Tourism Department today regarding reopening of all Tourism activities in South Andaman and North Middle Andaman District from today.
The tourists are allowed to visit Baratang/North & Middle Andaman subject to compulsory RAT testing for Andaman Trunk Road commuters which will be carried out at Forest check post on the spot / same day on payment of applicable charges
General Guidelines defined for traveling to Andaman Islands during COVID :
What are the guidelines for testing for tourists coming to Andaman after August 03 2021?
On arrival at Port Blair :
1. The tourists need to carry COVID-19 negative test report from mainland based 1CMR approved lab using Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR). However, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken within 48 hours prior to starting the journey from the origin station. (For e.g. if the tourist takes a flight from Delhi at 0600 hrs. on 1st September, 2021, the sample for RTPCR test should have been taken not before 0600 hrs. on 30th August, 2021).
2. The tourists/visitors on arrival at Port Blair airport have to undergo mandatory Covid-19 screening with RTPCR test free of cost. Thereafter the tourists/visitors are allowed to move to their respective hotels. However, they will have to be under quarantine at Port Blair in their hotel rooms until the result of RTPCR tests are received. In case of RTPCR positive test results, the tourists/visitors shall remain in
institutional quarantine in hotels notified by the Hoteliers Association in consent with the A&N Administration, on rates as specified or to the designated hospital/ Covid-19 care centre on case-to-case basis.
3. Tourists may also have to undergo random Rapid Antigen Test conducted from time to time on payment basis as prescribed by A8N Administration.
What if the tourists test positive after arriving at the Andaman Islands?
If the tourists tests positive during their stay in the Islands, he/she will need to undergo institutional isolation as per existing health protocols. The
cost of such isolation for govt. facility will be paid by the tourists as fixed by the administration from time to time.
If the patient wants to stay at hotels, he/she can stay in the hotels if all the conditions below are met:
a) Patients are not symptomatic and not more than 60 years old.
b) Request/ undertaking is made by patient in writing.
c)lf allowed by doctors.
Hotels will make necessary arrangements to designate a part of their rooms for institutional isolation for this purpose.
In this article, we explain how to reach Havelock Island. Located about 57 kilometers from Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, you can reach Havelock Island (now known as Swaraj Dweep) via sea only. It takes nearly two to three hours to reach Havelock Island from Port Blair. There are frequently available ferries and cruises operating between the two places, and this is the best way to reach Havelock Island. You can choose as per your convenience and budget as both government ferries and private cruises are functional on the island. The ferries leave from Phoenix Bay Wharf.
Lifeline of the Andaman Islands, government ferries cater to the needs of a huge number of passengers for transfer from one island to the other. The tickets of this ferry get sold out fast as it is taken by residents as well as tourists. Its ticket can be booked only a couple of days in advance. One has to book the tickets manually three days before the trip at the STARS counter by standing in a queue if someone wishes to take a government ferry. You can make this booking by contacting Andaman Island Travels. The tour operator will book the tickets on your behalf and you will not be required to stand in a long queue. The seating categories are chairs and seats in these ferries and they have a capacity of up to 145 passengers.
This is the best way to reach Havelock Island. For internal transfers to other islands, there are various companies that offer high-speed and spacious cruises in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Tourists mostly prefer private cruises as these are convenient and also, their booking process is easy. Compared to government ferries, these cruises are more comfortable and faster. Their tickets can easily be booked online. But private cruises are costlier compared to government ferries.
Introduced in the Andamans, it is the first-ever high-speed luxury catamaran cruise that is dual-hulled. It is fully air-conditioned and very comfortable. There are three categories for guests- Premium, Deluxe, and Royal. More advanced and spacious, these new vessels of the Makruzz fleet operate in various routes for keeping the islands and their people connected.
Green Ocean is the second most popular cruise. The cruise has an open deck where one can freely move around and have a look at the open seascape during the voyage. It has a catamaran version of it as well.
It is the latest cruise to be introduced in the Andaman Islands that has been imported from Singapore. Premium, Business, and Premium Plus are its different categories.
Another high-speed luxury cruise transferring passengers to Swaraj Dweep, this cruise is air-conditioned and has comfortable seats. There are two different categories- Silver and Majesty. Cruises and ferries for Havelock Island are available from Port Blair as well as Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep).
Helicopters are undeniably an extravagant, yet another means to travel from the capital city to Havelock island. Initially commenced by Jal Hans, the first flight of the 10-seater helicopter was from Port Blair to Havelock. The panoramic aerial view of the islands is enthralling, and the journey in itself is exhilarating. The services though open for both tourists and Islanders, are quite hard to avail. Owing to the set priority list, tourists often find themselves at the bottom of the waiting list.
There are certain things to keep in mind –
Getting around on an island is different from traversing a city. The local transport in Havelock Island is relatively simple and easy to use. The villages have their own beaches, those beaches have numbers assigned to their names, and the roads are set straight without any traffic. There is hardly any scope to lose your directions, but when it does happen, locals are happy to help.
Taxis – Tourists can rent taxis from Havelock jetty for interisland travel. These tend to work best for travellers who travel in a schedule and are up for saving time more than money. However, be wary of the drivers that are bound to overcharge you, where you might have to bargain your way out. If you book a package for Andaman excursion, taxis will be taken care of along with the rest of the transport.
Renting a bike on an island and riding into the sunset is what travel goals exude. An easy and cost-effective local means of transport in Havelock is by renting a motorcycle, scooter or a bicycle. Travellers usually hire them on an everyday basis for a minimal amount and set off to explore the island on their own. Monsoon seasons are risky, and we would not recommend renting a bike then, as the roads become slippery, which can prove dangerous.
Tuk-tuks or auto rickshaws are probably India’s favourite mode of local transport. They are cost-effective and readily available. You can hail them during the day on one of the main roads or at the marketplace. A short trip might cost you around INR 50 to 200, and a long ride, say Radhanagar Beach might cost you around INR 700 to 1000. The prices are standardized, though that does not stop travellers from bargaining.
Backpackers or budget travellers can also opt for shared jeeps and government buses to commute within the island.
Walking, however, remains one of the most common means of transport. It is the best way to explore a destination, and there is no denying that. If your energy and time permits you, we suggest you tie your shoelaces and go for a long walk to the beach.
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