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.
Visually stunning, Mayabunder Island is one of the most scenic and incredible destinationsto visit for a beach soaked heavenly experience. A way-station for numerous tourist spots such as a sea turtle nesting ground, tidal creeks dotted with mangroves along with the stunning beaches at Avis island, and Karmatanag beach, this is a quaint and uncommercial spot to visit.
Located bang in Northern strata of the Middle Andaman Islands, it is around 240 kilometres away from Port Blair. Mayabunder Island is well connected to the mainland and is easily accessible. Small, yet significantly beautiful, the azures blue skies and enveloping clear blue waters make the sightseeing spots at Mayabunder Island Andaman Islands even more alluring to travellers.
Settled in the British colonial period,Mayabunder Island is sprawled over a land area of 37.69 hectares. The main village has a population of around 3000 people while the number of houses ranges at 800. Also a gram panchayat, this stunning island boasts of some spectacular cultural characteristics such as the German jetty and home to former Burmese tribes.
For those looking to disembark upon a unique journey and visit this relatively untouched paradise, getting there is the primary priority. Fortunately, the capital city of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands is a popular place. It is extremely well-connected to and from all the major cities within India. There are only two ways one can reach Port Blair – by air and by sea.
To essentially reach Mayabunder Island, one has to get to Port Blair first. Fortunately, it has regular scheduled flights to and from Veer Savarker International Airport. Direct flights from cities such as Delhi, Vizag, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai are the most convenient and take around 2-2.5 hours one way. For other cities, connecting flights are available. This is the fastest and most favourable way to reach the capital city.
Government operated ships operate from Chennai, Vizag and Kolkata on scheduled timetables and take around three days to reach. For those not pressed for time, this is an ideal and economical experience. Tickets are easily available online as well as at the shipping service offices in these cities. The ticket booking starts 15 days before departure and ships sail only 1-2 times a week.
There are no rail or road options to reach Port Blair as of now, but several options to reach Mayabunder Island are available once disembarked there. Let us take a look at some popular ways of travelling to Mayabunder Island from Port Blair.
Once in Port Blair, there are various ways to reach Mayabunder Island.
Connected by buses that run daily from the capital, one can make this journey at their convenience. Usually, these buses start their trip from 4 – 11am and take the Andaman trunk road route. It takes around 9-10 hours one way.
A somewhat bumpy ride that passes a thicket of jungles, it is recommended for those with a tickle bone for adventure. Often, during this road trip, one can spot people of the Jarawa tribe, which is quite a thrill. However, it is strictly illegal to interact with them in any way. It is best left only to wonder upon visually.
The option of government-run buses as well as private ones is available. Either one of the options, as deemed convenient, can be opted for with the drop point being the bus stand at Mayabunder junction. From there, various public and private transport options are at your behest.
Government-run buses have a cheaper ticket price but are non-air-conditioned. In contrast, the private-run buses have a higher price tag. Air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned options are available as per the traveller’s preference.
For those looking for a more private travel arrangement, various rental car services and private taxis are available for this journey. Getting to Mayabunder Island Andaman Islands on one of these is a comparatively faster mode of travel. If you get a local driver, it becomes even more desirable as he can guide you towards other sightseeing spots en-route.
Considered more comfortable than taking the road journey, the ferry is also one of the modes of transport to reach this pristine tehsil. The Phoenix bay jetty has its ferries running from Port Blair to Diglipur with a stop in Mayabunder. These ferries run bi-weekly on Mondays and Fridays. Still, it is best to check the schedules in advance before making your way there as there can be unpredictable changes sometimes.
It takes nearly 9 hours one way and can differ depending on weather conditions at the time. For Indian citizens, there is no formality needed during the check-in and check-out, but for foreign nationals, relevant permits such as a visa or passport are mandatory. For those on a leisurely vacation, this is definitely a recommended alternative as it provides a rather distinctive travel experience.
To experience the best of both worlds, there is also another way to reach Mayabunder Island, which covers both land as well as water.
The government-operated ferries cruise from Port Blair to Rangat in 5-6 hours. It passes by other must-visit places such as Neil Island and Havelock before it reaches its final destination in Rangat and parks at Yerrata Jetty. From the port, it is very easy to take public buses or even rent cars to head towards Mayabunder Island. This excursion takes a total of 7-8 hours, including the 2 hours trip from Rangat to Mayabunder.
A Government operated helicopter service runs across the islands of the archipelago everyday. Five choppers travel to Mayabunder in addition to various others within the Andaman Islands. Starting in Port Blair, you can get to Diglipur, Havelock, Rangat, Neil island, and Hut bay in addition to Mayabunder regularly.
It is quite an electrifying escapade, and those who can indulge should take to the skies.
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