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.
As the rustic Neil Island urges us to slow down a little to immerse in its beauty which is hardly stretched to five kilometres in length, it is best explored on foot. Walking across the coconut farms, visiting the neighbourhood and familiarising yourself with the local markets in the tiny little island to know it better is only possible when you travel slow and observe more.
By any chance, walking isn’t something that you can consider even if you wish to, you have an alternative here. Here, cycling is recommended to explore the destination as much as long walks. At Neil Island, cycling is not only a fun activity for couples and friends during sunset but also a mode of commute within the island.
With the availability of many bike rentals at small distances, hiring a cycle is never a hassle here. The shops charge a nominal fee on a per-day basis which they deduct from the security deposit and return the remaining amount once you return the bicycle.
Why cycling? If this is the question lingering on your mind or you are wondering if there any mode of commute within the island then, the answer you get is ‘yes’. You can also rent a bike or a car and freely roam around. Though tiny in area, Neil Island is as good as its neighbouring islands Havelock Island (Swaraj Deep) and Port Blair when it is about logistics. To commute within the island, you can also take a bus or a cab to save little money. Well, you can pick all of these alternatives to cycling while exploring other islands but, Neil Island has a flat terrain perfect for cycling which is not the case in other islands in Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
Post renting a bicycle early in the morning, you can directly head to Bharatpur beach to watch people trying some adventure water sports activities after catching the sunrise. Bharatpur beach located 500 metres away from the Neil Jetty, is one of the first popular spots you will come across and hence heading there wouldn’t be of any difficulty. Later, you can stroll around the streets of Neil Island to understand the local vibe and if not tired then take the route to Laxmanpur Beach 1 to catch the sunset.
You can cycle around Neil Island until a few hours post the sunset as everything shuts once it starts to get dark. Entry to beaches is prohibited, markets are closed and, you will hardly find anyone on the streets. Post evening, you are forced to spend some time in tranquillity and witness the magnificent sky full of star and moon at your accommodation.
Most of the accommodations, irrespective of being hotels or resorts, have the facility of bicycle rentals. If not, they can help you get one using contacts. But, it mostly depends on the availability of the bicycle in stores. Therefore, pre-booking of your bi-cycling is a must here.
If you plan your visit to Neil Island and wish to explore the paradise cycling, we at the Andaman Islands Travels Pvt.Ltd. are at your service to help you with bookings.