airplane with covid mask on nose

Scuba Diving Travel During COVID

Photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific

After careful consideration and 8 months of quarantining, I decided to travel to Puerto Morelos in Mexico for a quick dive trip. I like to call these types of short excursions – “dive and dash”.

Puerto Morelos is located south of Cancun and north of Playa del Carmen. It’s about a half hour car ride from Cancun International Airport. Puerto Morelos is a very quiet area in comparison to Cancun and Playa.

I traveled to Puerto Morelos with a few friends which made traveling a bit more pleasant. We decided on Puerto Morelos because our mutual friend recently purchased a dive shop called Wet Set Diving Adventures.

Also, before COVID took over the world, I was itching to break-in a new wetsuit I purchased during my last dive trip to Komodo. In addition, during the peak of the pandemic I decided to upgrade to a new underwater camera system. (I’ll post more about my custom wetsuit and underwater camera system in future posts.) These combined elements seemed like a good opportunity to test the waters.

Traveling during a pandemic is quite interesting. The travel industry is doing as much as they can to stay in business and keep guest safe.

Mexico and the United States both require health declarations when you enter each of the respected countries. The forms can be easily submitted online in a few minutes. Both forms ask the nearly the same questions; Have you been in contact with anyone with COVID? Have you recently had any symptoms? Where are you staying? etc. When traveling to Mexico from New York, the airline gate agent must see the health confirmation in order to receive your boarding pass.

While traveling in general can sometimes be quite chaotic. Traveling during COVID was quite efficient and pleasant. All of the travel providers operated with extreme caution which was quite comforting. I’ve outlined my travel experience below.

  • Car Service (to the airport) via Uber
    • Customers and drivers are both required to wear a face covering
    • Customers must agree to open the window for ventilation and sit in the backseat of the car
  • Airport (JFK and MIA)
    • Check-in
      • Required to show Mexico Health Declaration Confirmation on mobile phone
    • TSA
      • Hand sanitizer available before and after security checkpoints
    • Business Lounge (JFK and Miami)
      • JFK – Eating and drinking is prohibited in business lounge (NYS regulations)
      • MIA – Admirals Club provides small hot snacks and beverage service (Breakfast: Scrambled Egg Cup + Alcoholic Beverages and Late Afternoon: Mac & Cheese Cup + Alcoholic Beverages)
    • Shops & Restaurants
      • Many shops and restaurants were closed in the food court. The businesses that were open provided reduced capacity seating
    • Airplane Boarding
      • Hand sanitizer available at gates
      • Passengers required to wear mask covering mouth and nose
    • In-flight
      • Passengers required to wear mask during the entire flight (which must cover mouth and nose)
      • Snack box and soft drink in business class
      • No snack or beverage service in economy class
  • Cancun Airport
    • Hand sanitizer available at security checkpoints, immigration and baggage claim
    • Most restaurants and bars open with limited seating
    • Business Lounge open with limited seating (Food and drinks are available)
  • Car Service (to hotel)
    • Hand sanitizer provided during check-in and again before entering car
  • Hotel Check-in
    • Hand sanitizer provided
    • Temperature check
    • Baggage sprayed with disinfectant
  • Hotel Room
    • Daily cleaning service
  • Dive Shop
    • Hand sanitizer at check-in
    • Temperature check
    • Mask not required after equipment setup (if you remain in the shop area)
  • Bars/Restaurants (in Puerto Morelos)
    • Hand sanitizer available and mask required upon entry
    • Temperature check
    • Mask not required once food and drinks are served

I was not sure what to expect before this dive trip. In preparation, I purchased small packages of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and a few masks. I was relieved that safety precautions were administered at all points.

View from American Airlines Admirals Club in Miami before a short tropical storm.

9 thoughts on “Scuba Diving Travel During COVID

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