Academy Bay Diving Covid Policies and FAQs

COVID-19: Special circumstances booking and Cancelation Policy

This page outlines our policies and safety protocols at Academy Bay Diving while Covid-19 remains a concern. We prioritize safety at all times, and especially now. Our focus and emphasis on safety for our guests is what always sets us apart from other dive centers. Dealing with Covid-19 is no different.

If you have any questions after reviewing these policies and protocols, please feel free to contact us.

Special Covid-19 Cancellation Policy

We understand that sometimes plans change, especially right now. That is why when you book with us you have the flexibility to change your travel plans – with assurance you’ll have options to re-book when it suits you. As long as you notify us about changes to your travel plans at least 5 days before your scheduled arrival date, you can pick new dates or make alterations to your trip with no change fees. *

We are also offering all reservations that have been pre-booked in 2019/20:
– an open reservation until Dec 31, 2021 with no change fees
– deposits can be applied to new dates in 2022 – no change fees for the diving tours, change fees may apply for packages with hotels and other tours
– refund on bookings with services in 2020. Due to the large number of cancellations and the closure of the Galapagos Islands the refund process will take 6-12 months. We are very grateful for your business and your refunds will be processed, but please be patient with us.

New Bookings

For all NEW bookings with service dates until July 31, 2021.

Bookings for services after this date are subject to our normal reservations and cancellation policy in section 4 & 9 of our full Terms & Conditions.
– Deposit of 20% is required for confirmation *
– Final payment is due on arrival to the Islands *

*When booking cruises we will advise you of their specific deposit and final payment policies.

Cancellations for JUST diving tours – from 5 days – 48 hours prior to service date.
– change of date will be given with no penalties OR
– a refund of the deposit will be processed minus any bank charges incurred

Cancellations for JUST diving tours – less than 48 hours prior to service date.
– If the cancellation is due to you having COVID-19 “flu like symptoms”, supported by a medical certificate, we will hold 100% of monies paid by you as credit.

Cancellations for packages including extra services, e.g. hotels, other tours not operated by Academy Bay Diving – from 7 days – 36 hours prior to service date.
– a change of date will be given with no penalties OR
– a refund of the deposit will be processed according to the policies of the other services involved (hotel, other tour operators), minus any bank charges incurred.

Cancellations for packages including extra services, e.g. hotels, other tours not operated by Academy Bay Diving – less than 36 hours prior to service date.
– If the cancellation is due to you having COVID-19 “flu like symptoms”, supported by a medical certificate, we will hold 100% of monies paid by you as credit.

FAQs for COVID Protocols at Academy Bay Diving

For more information about our Covid-19 safety procedures and further questions please refer to the below FAQ section. You can also review our full list of FAQs.

Is Galapagos Open?

The Galapagos islands are OPEN!!

Regular flights will commence in August with Latam & Avianca. To start with Latam will fly to Baltra 2 times per week and Avianca will fly to Baltra 2 Sundays per month, and San Cristobal 2 Sundays per month.

Hopefully with increased demand for flights over the coming months we will see an increase in flights, too.

Please see our blog post for all entry requirements to Ecuador and Galapagos.

What is Academy Bay Diving doing to keep you safe?

The following actions are part of our COVID safety protocol at Academy Bay Diving. We are taking steps to protect all our guests and our team, and we ask that you support us in those efforts.

Guest Social Etiquette
Social distancing of at least 6ft/2m where possible (other than traveling companions)
Masks to be worn where 6ft/2m social distancing cannot be achieved
Encourage hand cleaning with soap and water or hand sanitizer frequently

Sanitizing of Surfaces
All high-touch surfaces in the dive center and on the dive boat, in communal guest areas and bathrooms will be disinfected/sanitized before guest arrival and during the dives, or twice per day
All food will be prepared following safety protocols from the appropriate authorities. All cups & cutlery will be washed and sanitized before use.

Sanitizing & Cleaning of Dive Equipment
Each diver will be given equipment according to a number system. This equipment will be used by the same diver for the entirety of their dive experience with us.
All equipment will be washed/rinsed with an antibacterial solution approved by local authorities.
Mouthpieces on our regulators will NOT be changed for each passenger, but the regulators and mouth pieces will be washed with an antibacterial solution and stored in clean/dry areas. If customers would like their own mouthpiece for the regulator they will need to bring their own. Our crew will be more than happy to help them change the mouthpiece before dives.
Masks and snorkels that are shared during the tour will be washed in an antibacterial solution after each use.

Prevention
Multiple hand sanitizer stations with gel/alcohol will be available in the dive center and on the dive boat
Installations of signs to encourage hand washing
Recommended guests bring their own refillable water bottles, masks/snorkels and regulators
Monitor employees’ health daily, including taking temperature and watching for signs and symptoms of Covid-19
If possible, have guests tested for Covid-19 prior to arrival
We will not allow any guest and their traveling companions to join our tour if they exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms at time of travel
We will not allow any employee to come to work if they have Covid-19, exhibit any symptoms or have been exposed to someone with Covid in the past 14 days
Crew, guides and other employees will wear masks while in close contact with guests
Guests to sign online Waivers before arrival to reduce contact in the dive center

These protocols are for Academy Bay Diving dive center and dive boat and may be changed and/or altered at any time.

We will also adhere to any protocols established by the Galapagos National Park, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism/Health/Labor and any other authority our business and guests fall under.

Are there any changes to group sizes in response to COVID-19?

Our trips are based on small group adventures and as a result carry less inherent risk of COVID-19. We will follow local government guidance on permitted group sizes, but you will never be in a group larger than 16 people.

Will I have to wear a mask during the tours in Galapagos?

In Ecuador and Galapagos the use of face masks is obligatory, including during tours. Wearing a face mask provides an additional physical barrier and helps to reduce community transmission of COVID-19.

All of our guides and crew will wear masks.

We advise you to contact your airline as well as check the foreign travel advice for updates or changes to restrictions regarding wearing during travelling as you will need to bring your own supply from home to cover the duration of your travels. While our leaders carry masks as part of their first aid kits, we are unable to provide masks for daily use for travellers.

Do I need to bring my own hand sanitizer?

We are working with our local partners to provide hand sanitizer at accommodations, on transport and at restaurants. It will also be available on all dive tours. We recommend also bringing your own personal supply for times when it is not available, such as when exploring a destination independently.

How will you manage physical distancing on the trips?

We recommend and practice physical distancing of 1.5meters when possible during all trips. We understand that maintaining physical distancing at all times between group members when on a trip would be difficult and impractical. We put emphasis on COVID-19 protocols such as enhanced hygiene and sanitation to help reduce the risk of group tours.

What happens if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on my trip?

If you or someone else on any of your tours has symptoms of COVID-19 while travelling with us we will assist you to access appropriate medical care as quickly as possible. We will follow the advice of local health authorities on whether a COVID-19 test is required, whether there is a need to self-isolate or quarantine or whether there is a risk to other travellers on the tours. We will help contact family and friends if needed as well as support with translation services at hospitals or medical centres and in contacting insurance companies, travel agents and airlines to make arrangements to return home if required.

Should COVID-19 be confirmed, our full health and safety protocols will be enacted, including informing local health authorities, informing other travellers of the potential exposure, and sanitation protocols such as deep cleaning and disinfecting of accommodation and transport.

Please note that while we will assist to ensure that you get all the help and support you need, any expenses for testing, treatment or self-isolation will need to be covered by you and your travel insurer, so please ensure you have access to funds while travelling in case of this or other emergencies.

Will insurance cover me for COVID-19?

The travel insurance industry is currently still working out its response to the COVID-19 pandemic and some providers are now starting to include COVID-19 cover in their policies. Please check with your individual provider for more information.

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