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.
Been to Andaman Island and didn’t indulge in scuba diving, this is something you shouldn’t be thinking of when you get back home. No, we are not saying that this is going to make you uncool in any possible way but, if you have an itch for adventures, scuba diving is a must-try when in Andaman Island.
One of the top destinations for scuba diving in Asia, Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) and Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep) of Andaman and Nicobar group of islands both boast scuba diving and other water sports under the guidance of certified instructors.
When compared, Neil Island is much quieter and offers more peaceful environment as it is still untouched by a large number of tourists. The absence of mangroves at Neil Island also makes water bluer and clearer, increasing the chances of fulfilling and uninterrupted diving experience.
It may sound scary to dive amidst water bodies but, scuba diving is a safe water sport when experienced at the right place and, Neil Island definitely is the one. Also, your lack of swimming skills is no barrier here if the underwater territory holds great fascination for you.
At Neil Island, diving is one of a kind experiences surrounded by colourful corals and fishes. Once you decide your date of adventure, book your slot in advance. The day at the diving spot starts at 6:00 am and goes on till 1:00 pm. You can reserve your slot anytime in between but, early dive is always a good steal. You will fall in love with the entire idea of scuba diving much before you experience it. Your boat ride to reef location arranged by your scuba diving centre will pump you up with excitement making you ready for the adventures ahead. As soon as you reach the sheltered reef, your trainer will give you an insight into the underwater world to boost your confidence. You will learn basic diving skills and underwater signs and practice in shallow water. You will also be provided with scuba jacket, oxygen mask and other equipment and taught how to use them before you deep dive into the sea.
If it is your first time at scuba diving, it may take you a little while to go for your first jump but, once you jump straight into the water in the middle of the sea, the underwater world will take you by surprise. Despite the fear and a bit of uneasiness, at the beginning of your voyage, you will be enthralled by the adventures underwater. In Andaman, divers’ safety is the foremost priority and to ensure no misadventures happen all the instructors and centres follow the general standards and recommendations by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). The instructors hold certification from PADI.
From the time you jump and swim deeper to explore the magic underwater, your instructor will be with you communicating continuously through hand gestures. Amidst colourful corals of different shapes and sizes, you will dive along with dugong, spot school of fish, manta rays, sea snakes, turtles, Angelfish, soldierfish, batfish, blue-spotted stingrays, yellow Snappers, pufferfish, butterflyfish and finally the Nemo fish & several others. Diving around beautiful fishes that move at snail’s pace, the underwater world appears nothing less than magic that needs to be explored at least once in your lifetime. Along with all the new adventures, when you witness the sound of your breath, you will be transported to a serene and hypnotising world that you wouldn’t want to leave ever.
every other experience, your scuba diving tour will also come to an end. The duration of the dive usually lasts from 45 to 60 minutes. You will cover 10 to 20 metres of depth, but it will completely depend on your air consumption and comfort level. It may sound tough, but if you be a good student and follow the instructions properly, then you will face no discomfort. Irrespective of the water level, to neutralise the water pressure and have control over yourself, keep blowing air continuously. If you follow this thoroughly, you can cover greater depths.
Well, if you wish to befriend with the underwater world for the rest of your life then, you can enrol for the certification courses that ensure you a scuba diving license to dive at any corner in the world. You will be trained under PADI certified instructors and earn yourself a PADI certificate too at the end of the course. You will not only be taught to dive confidently and understand your safety but will also be enlightened about the underwater ecosystem for a better diving experience. There are different levels of courses and, you can choose the one you find right for yourself. You have options from entry-level to intermediate, advanced, rescue and other levels. Andaman Island is a great place to discover a whole new world underwater and go back home like a true adventurer.
If you plan your visit to Neil Island and wish to indulge in scuba diving, we at the Andaman Islands Travels Pvt.Ltd. are at your service to help you with bookings.