Travel opportunities are different right now. Things are changing every day, and that can make it difficult to keep up with what’s allowed and what isn’t. As dive travelers, you need the most accurate scuba diving and travel restrictions, so you can get your gills wet and explore the underwater world with confidence.
For that reason, we’ve rounded up the most relevant information for traveling and scuba diving during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you’ll find interactive travel resources, COVID-19 travel information by country as well as our picks for the most accessible diving destinations right now. Click here to try a tool from Sherpa for specific information as it pertains to your passport and destination.
Please keep in mind that dive operators may have specific requirements which go above and beyond the restrictions set in place by local governments. Be sure to reach out to your local operator regarding these logistics. Or, if you’ve booked through PADI Travel, please check logistics/how to get there section on your PADI Travel invoice for additional details.
Table of Contents
- Choosing Flexible Booking Options for Dive Travel
- Useful Resources for Scuba Diving & COVID-19
- Check Your Local Government’s Advice
- Airline Coronavirus Information
- COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for All Dive Destinations
- Top Countries Where You Can Go Scuba Diving Right Now
- What PADI Dive Resorts & Liveaboards are Doing to Combat COVID-19
- When Was This Article Last Updated?
Choosing Flexible Booking Options for Dive Travel
Right now we understand it’s difficult to plan ahead, and booking travel might be risky. That’s why PADI Travel has worked with our incredible operators to offer free cancellation for any reason up to eight days before the trip start date and deposits as low as 5% on many packages.
In this way, you can make travel plans knowing you’re protected and can be assured you won’t miss out on stunning underwater adventures, even as travel restrictions and situations change.
Useful Resources for Scuba Diving & COVID-19
- Travel and Diving Safety Tips During and After COVID-19
- 8 Simple COVID-19 Risk Reduction Steps for Divers
- Divers Alert Network COVID-19 Info for Divers
- Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society COVID-19 Information
- What COVID-19 Safety Measures Look Like at PADI Dive Resorts
- Diving is Reopening: Your Dive Center is Ready
- PADI Travel COVID-19 FAQ
- Responsible Dive Travel in the COVID Era
Check Your Local Government’s Advice
Due to the rapidly evolving nature of country specific travel restrictions and guidelines, we recommend that you not only check for the latest advisories on the official website of the country you will travel to (see “COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for All Dive Destinations” below), but also check with the governmental organization in charge of foreign travel advice in your home country.
- For US Citizens: US Dept. of State Covid-19 Country Specific Information
- For Canadian Citizens: Official Global Travel Advisories
- For UK Citizens: UK Foreign Travel Advice by Country
- For German Citizens: COVID-19-Reisewarnung
- For Swiss Citizens: Reisehinweise & Vertretungen
- For Australian Citizens: Travel Advice in Challenging Times
- For New Zealand Citizens: SafeTravel COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Alerts
- For Finnish Citizens: Q&A about Travelling and Coronavirus
- For French Citizens: Informations Coronavirus – Covid-19
- For UAE Citizens: Travel Advice During the Covid 19 Pandemic
- For Belgian Citizens: Travel Advice by Country
- For Italian Citizens: Viaggiare Sicuri
- For Netherlands Citizens: Travelling and Going on Holiday
- For Spanish Citizens: Recomendaciones de Viaje
- For Brazilian Citizens: Assistance to Brazilians Abroad
- For Singapore Citizens: COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for Citizens
Airline Coronavirus Information
One of the toughest things about travel is getting to your destination. That’s especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help you out, below we list the world’s most popular airlines and link to their websites about their COVID-specific policies. That way, you can make an informed decision about whether now is the right time to fly and which airline will best serve your needs in these tumultuous times.
COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for All Dive Destinations
Below, you’ll find the most up-to-date links to the COVID-19 entry restrictions for most diving destinations around the world.
Countries Where You Can Go Scuba Diving Right Now
So, you’re ready to get your gills wet again, and you’re itching for an international break. We’ve got you covered. These are the top countries that are accessible for most scuba divers around the world.
Whether you choose to visit the Atlantic or Pacific side of Mexico, you’re in for a treat. Diving in this country means seeing colorful coral reefs, sharks, manta rays, sea lions and, even, picturesque underwater statues. Plus, Mexico will stay tropically warm throughout the impending winter months. Just be sure to take hurricane season into account when booking your trip.
Picture perfect islands and waters full of whale sharks, manta rays and tropical marine life welcome divers to the Indian Ocean country known as the Maldives. If you’re looking for a special dive trip for your first one post-lockdown, a liveaboard or private island stay in the Maldives would make for a memorable and relaxing vacation.
North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Indonesia is known for offering some of the best diving on Earth and North Sulawesi is one of the top diving destinations in the Indonesian Archipelago. Both Bangka and Lembeh Islands have been granted “Bubble Status” by the government which means that although a quarantine remains in place, those staying on the islands can scuba dive, snorkel, and ocean swim during their quarantine!
The Red Sea is calling, and now you can answer the call. Egypt has opened its borders to tourists from most countries, so get ready to dive into colorful coral reefs, alongside sharks, dolphins and dugongs.
Home to the top-of-the-bucket-list-worthy Galapagos Islands, Ecuador is a dream diving destination. Luckily, it’s also one of the most accessible post-COVID destinations, too. So, throw your gear in your bag and book a trip to this South American wonderland.
Croatia offers around 1000 islands all adorned with reefs, underwater caverns, pillars and canyons. Although Croatia is often passed up by divers for more tropical destinations with a plethora of megafauna, this small, European country has a ton to offer. From shipwrecks to seahorses and octopuses as well as hundreds of picture perfect islands in the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is giving divers the opportunity to explore its coasts now. Plus, it’s one of the only European countries open to Americans. But, be sure to book your trip quickly. The diving is good year-round, but the tourist season only lasts until November.
Bonaire is located just north of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean. This Dutch Caribbean island has protected its marine resources for more than 35 years. Because of this, marine life abounds with more than 470 fish species found in Bonaire’s waters. Famed as one of the best Caribbean dive destinations, Bonaire hosts amazing coral reefs and long forgotten shipwrecks. Because the island’s dive sites are protected from any currents, this is one of the best places in the world to gain a new certification.
The Bahamas has two amazing selling points as a first trip post-COVID. First, for North American divers, the island country doesn’t require a long flight. Second, the country is full of sharks, from hammerheads to tigers. Although the Bahamas’ Vacation in Place scheme may be more restrictive than others on this list, it may be worth traveling to for those bucket list shark dives.
Belize is well-known to divers for the world’s largest blue hole, but its diving scene also features amazing coral reefs and whale shark adventures. As the saying goes, big things come in small packages. March to December is the prime diving season, and the country is open to most divers from around the world, with a few restrictions.
Aquarium-like conditions, whale sharks and an array of marine life makes Tanzania one of the world’s premier diving destinations. Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia are the three main diving islands, and all of the dive sites are currently open to tourists without restriction.
From diving with hundreds of hammerhead sharks at Cocos Island to the bull sharks of the Bat Islands, no matter what adventure you crave, you’ll find it in Costa Rica. And, when you aren’t diving, the topside activities are pretty epic, too. Now that Costa Rica has systematically opened to tourism, you can confidently book your trip to this Central American country.
Divers Within the European Union
Regarding travel within Europe for citizens of the European Union, freedom of movement between EU member countries is now less restrictive and prices are very attractive at this time.
What PADI Dive Resorts & Liveaboards are Doing to Combat COVID-19
PADI Travel and its dive resorts and liveaboards are taking COVID-19 precautions very seriously. In order to keep our divers safe, we’ve asked each of our dive resorts and liveaboards to provide us with information about what specific protocols they’re enacting during this pandemic.
Even if you can’t travel to your favorite diving destinations right now, you can still dive locally. Seek your own adventure close to home with the PADI Dive Shop Locator or the PADI Adventures app.
The PADI Adventures app provides all the information you need to find local diving adventures and book them quickly and easily online. With this app at your fingertips, you’ll be diving faster than you can say download.
When Was This Article Last Updated?
This article was originally written on February 16, 2021. Any future updates will be recorded here.
Please note: This information was last updated on FEBRUARY 17th, 2022 based on public sources. However, the international travel situation is changing rapidly and thus we can not accept any responsibility for its accuracy. We will attempt to update this article frequently, but it’s always best to check with your local government, the government of your destination, and your travel provider directly.
Ready to book your first post-COVID dive trip? Browse all the available dive resorts, liveaboards and day trips on PADI Travel.